Doughnut contest supports local bakeries

Michael Krieger

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak got a mouthful from local bakeries Thursday morning.

A mouthful of pastry, that is.

Competing in the first “Doughnut Challenge,” which organizers intend to hold yearly, 15 bakeries put their best glaze forward at City Hall to vie for the title of favorite doughnut.

Rybak said he held the contest to support local bakeries facing competition from the highly popular Krispy Kreme store that opened this month in Maple Grove.

Minneapolis police officers were invited to judge the event, but Corporal Kim Hedberg was the lone uniformed officer among the 15 city workers who judged the pastries.

“I like doughnuts and nobody else came here,” he said.

Minneapolis firefighter and University student Casidy Jones was on the panel of judges.

“We’re just ranking them from one through 10,” Jones said of her strategy for evaluating the doughnuts.

After all pastries had been sampled and the votes counted, a pair of bakeries emerged victorious.

Scandia Bake Shop, at 5011 34th Ave. S., and Cub Foods, at 5937 Nicollet Ave. S., tied for best doughnuts in the city.

“It’s a remarkable story about what happens in a city like ours every morning,” said Rybak, in admiration of bakery operators.

“The victors are the stomachs of the people of Minneapolis,” he said.

Kevin Lovgren, owner of Sarah Jane’s Bakery, said he was pleased with the contest.

“I think this is so wonderful for the small businesses,” said Lovgren, who placed third in the competition.

Although the arrival of Krispy Kreme has worried smaller bakery owners, Lovgren said the increased attention on doughnuts has helped sales overall.

Rybak said he would send a box of the city’s finest doughnuts to Republican state representative Rich Stanek, who lives in Maple Grove, where the Krispy Kreme store is.

Ralph Turtinen, of the Minnesota Bakers Association, said there is something special about local
bakeries because of their importance in the community.

“People are missing a lot if they don’t go to their local bakery,” he said.

Michael Krieger covers University neighborhoods and welcomes comments at [email protected]