New business rises out of Ed's Bakery...finally
Ed's Bakery on Cloquet Avenue rises again, this time as a Farmers Insurance business. After sitting empty since July 2004, the blighted building in downtown Cloquet will get a new look in the next few weeks.
Jacob Osvold will move his business down the block as soon as remodeling is done for the front office. He began working with Farmers in 2013 and bought the agency in 2015.
Osvold bought the defunct bakery in April and, along with his wife, Emily, and their two toddlers, 3-year-old Isabella and 1-year-old Marshel, began working on the building.
Upstairs is a three-bedroom apartment with a large deck, which will be rented out once it's ready.
All signs of a bakery inside the building were already eradicated before Osvold bought the business. The front part of the main level had already had several updates completed and needs minimal work.
Osvold enthusiastically rattles off his plans: putting in a wall, fixing a door, changing the paint color, adding a reception area, reusing some bricks as the entry in front of the building, and more.
He plans to add windows on the east side of the outside wall to allow natural lighting in the long rectangular room.
"The city approved a grant for the east side of the building," said Osvold, explaining that the rear half will be steel siding and the front will be stucco.
The Osvolds plan to make the gutted kitchen area into a conference room. The back room will someday house Osvold's office, complete with restoring an original brick wall and adding a fireplace.
Osvold would like to save a few mementos from the bakery to display inside, such as the sign out front or a photograph of the iconic, faded Coca-Cola advertisement on the side of the building.
"The last time I was at Ed's Bakery, we stopped in the morning before we went to school," remembered Osvold. "It was a rare occasion that we got out of the house early enough to stop anywhere without being late to school. My brother was driving us by then. They had the best chocolate eclairs. They had them in the freezer section, so when you got them they were still a little frozen; they were flaky and the chocolate was awesome. They were fantastic."
Osvold was about 14 years old at the time.
The original building was built in 1933 by Richard and Margaret Bergquist, according to daughter Carol Nelson.
The couple opened the Silverdip Dairy Inn in 1937 and sold it in 1945. Ed Schilla bought the business soon after he came home from World War II where he was a baker in the military, and Ed's Bakery was born, according to Jerry Manthey, a longtime friend of Schilla and retired building inspector for the city of Cloquet.
After Ed, the bakery was owned by George Ostrander, Dale Smith and then Dale's son Randy took over. Randy said his dad worked for Ed at one point.
The Bergquists had living space in the back of the building where they lived with their first two children, Dale and Carol. The youngest, Barry, came along in 1945.
The second floor housed Dr. Ricard Puumala's practice for many years. Barry claims he was Dr. Puumala's last home delivery in Cloquet.
Now the corner business will once again be owned by a young family, bringing history full circle.
Osvold is excited for the work to move forward. He plans to move into the building by the end of May and have a grand opening later, possibly early summer. For now the young family is patching and painting, as evidenced by the white paint in Isabella's blond hair.