It’s no secret that one of Winona’s most famous institutions is a little donut shop and bakery. One can find T-shirts in gift shops across town naming three well-known features of the island city: River, Donuts, Bluffs. Indeed, Bloedow Bakery has captured the hearts and tastebuds of locals, visitors, critics, and the media alike.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic though, Bloedow’s -which has been operating on east Broadway since 1924- took some time off over the last two months. Winonans definitely missed getting their fixes of these award winning morsels, as evidenced by the outpouring of support when the bakery reopened last week.
According to the Winona Daily News, Bloedow Bakery sold over 13,000 donuts during their limited return to business last week. The bakery, usually open Monday – Saturdays during normal times, cut down to a Wednesday – Friday schedule and saw socially distanced lines stretching for blocks. Reporter Rachel Mergen writes, “Before the pandemic, the typical day for the bakery included selling about 300 dozen doughnuts. Last week, though, from Wednesday to Friday 1,155 dozen doughnuts were sold.”
Bakery office manager, Karen Sorum tells Mergen, “We have had the three busiest days in a row that we’ve ever had in the history of Bloedow.”
The bakery enacted a number of new measures to better ensure the safety of their customers. Mergen reports, “Precautions set in place to help limit the possibility of COVID-19 spread include limiting the number of people allowed in the store at one time; the instillation of plexiglass above the doughnut cases and around the cash register; and the ability for customers to insert their own credit and debit cards to pay.” The reporter continues, “Each time the payment machines are used by customers they are sanitized. Additionally, if a customer needs to use a pen, the pen will then be removed from the area and a new one will replace it that has not been used.”
In addition to these safety measures, Bloedow Bakery also started a brand new pre-ordering system to help lines move faster and limit contact with customers. A new pick-up window was added, and online orders netted over 800 orders in three days.
The bakery plans to keep its limited hours at least throughout the week of May 25-31, with hours of Wednesday – Friday, 8AM – 2PM.
You can read the full Winona Daily News story here
Watch HGTV’s feature of Bloedow Bakery here
Get a behind the scenes look via Visit Winona’s Facebook Live series here