Moose Lake bakery proves to senator 'how sweet it is'Deb and Tony Ostlund, owners of the bakery in Moose Lake, had a hard time believing their ears when they got an early morning phone call Tuesday, June 11, from Kaadee Wallace, who said she was an assistant of Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
Deb and Tony Ostlund, owners of the bakery in Moose Lake, had a hard time believing their ears when they got an early morning phone call Tuesday, June 11, from Kaadee Wallace, who said she was an assistant of Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar. She explained she wanted to order an assortment of pastries, to be packaged by noon that same day and ready for pick up by UPS for overnight delivery to Washington, D.C.
“At first, we thought it was a joke,” admitted Deb. “We asked her how they intended to pay for it!”
The pastries, they were informed, were to be served at Senator Klobuchar’s “Minnesota Morning” event, held weekly when the Senate is in session, where Klobuchar invites Minnesotans to join her for coffee and potica or other traditional Minnesota sweets. According to the Senator’s website, “Minnesota Morning is an opportunity for all Minnesotans to meet with Senator Klobuchar and hear a first-hand account of her work in the U.S. Senate…. It’s also a chance to mix and mingle with fellow Minnesotans, catch up with her staff and take a few snapshots with the Senator.”
“We are part of her district,” explained Deb, “and I understand she found out about us from a friend of hers who stopped by the bakery and liked the hometown feel (as well as the pastries!).”
The bakery, long known as Big D’s Donuts under the previous owner, even reflects the hometown focus in its new name — Ma and Pa’s Cozy Little Bakery. It’s a family-run operation, with the Ostlunds’ 10-year-old daughter, Johnette, serving as the main counter girl.
“You will see her ringing customers and serving coffee all summer long!” said Deb.
The Ostlunds purchased the bakery in February and reopened it in April after beginning renovations.
“The renovation is going to be an ongoing process,” said Deb. “Other than a little paint and fix-up, we’re also working at renovating our product line so we have enough to fill the customers’ needs.”
The Ostlunds makes all their own raised doughnuts, breads and cookies from scratch, as well as such delicacies as apple fritters — “my husband’s claim to fame!” said Deb — kolaches and turnovers. The Ostlunds also offer homemade caramel rolls, as well as pies. In fact, they included a specially packaged rhubarb pie in the order for Senator Klobuchar’s event.
“We wrote a note to go with it,” said Ostlund, “talking about the community outpouring we’ve had since we took over the bakery. Customers have brought in all sorts of produce for us, including rhubarb. Sending the pie for Senator Klobuchar’s event was a way for us to let her and her staff know that everyone from the community contributed. We heard later that her staff decided to save the pie for themselves!”
The “Minnesota Morning” event featuring the pastries from the Moose Lake bakery will soon be featured on Senator Klobuchar’s website.
The Ostlunds said their first experience in the bakery business — though both are accomplished cooks in their own right — has been an ongoing adventure.
“It’s been a struggle, but we’re getting there,” Deb said, adding that they’ve already set up retail outlets for their bakery products at the One Stop in Wrenshall and the Spur Station in Carlton. They’re hoping to add Woodland Foods in Carlton the beginning of July.
In the meantime, she said they were proud to be able to supply Senator Klobuchar’s office with a little taste of home.