On any given Saturday morning, a stream of students and locals can be seen lining up at Bloedow’s Little Bake Shop, waiting to get their sugary donut fix.
Bloedow’s is known around Winona for being voted the best donut shop in Minnesota in 2012. They opened in 1924, as a family owned shop, passed down from generation to generation, until 2004 when long-time employee, Hugh Polus, and his wife Mary purchased the shop.
The recipes were not changed with the new owners. According to their website, the bakery prides itself on providing a “small town experience,” which the new owners maintain.
It is certainly a physically small business, causing their customers to sometimes line up outside, wrapping around the building on the sidewalk.
There are benches along the building, which suggest people wait there for donuts often enough to require seating, but when I went there the morning of Saturday, Nov. 7 there were only about six customers ahead of me.
Fully expecting the line to be outrageously long due to the stories I had heard, I decided to time how long it would take me to get a donut from entering-door-bell-jingle to exiting-door-bell-jingle.
The entire process took me four minutes and 17 seconds. However, I’m sure that number could vary widely depending on the day and time of your visit.
While there were only about a dozen customers on both occasions I went to the store this week, there were two employees behind the counter when I went on Friday, Nov. 6 and five employees on Saturday, Nov. 7, which sped up the ordering process.
The employees call you to the glass donut case and ask what you want, bagging your picks while you wait in line to pay, which helps the line move faster.
Junior Melissa Peterson had suggested trying the maple long johns.
“They are so good,” Peterson said. “But they get a little too sweet near the end.”
Since they are a small town business, they do have a $5 minimum charge for credit or debit card purchases.
While the purchase minimum may be inconvenient for some, Bloedow’s doesn’t seem to be a stickler about their rule. They kept their small town vibes alive, and let me slide by with a purchase of $4.95.
If you’re someone that enjoys filling inside your donuts, you will need to visit on certain days.
Bloedow’s fills some of their donuts with Bavarian cream on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Tuesdays and Fridays they use lemon or whip cream for filling. Wednesday is apple filling day; and Saturdays there is also the option for blueberry filling, if Bavarian cream isn’t tempting your taste buds.