At the beginning of the Twentieth Century, Hibbing was known as the melting pot of the state of Minnesota. It was here that immigrants from Italy, Croatia, Ireland, Slovenia, Serbia, Finland, and Sweden found work in the mines and settled. The diversity of the cultures gave the Iron Range great flavor—one of which was potica.
Potica (pronounced po-TEE-tsa) is a paper-thin sweet bread filled with nuts, butter, honey and sugar. Croatians, Slovenes and Serbians, who flocked to the region at the turn of the century brought with them this Western European delicacy. In 1932, when Vincent, son of an Italian immigrant met Anna, daughter of a Croatian immigrant, the Forti family learned the art of making potica.
Making potica is a family affair---for generations, families and friends have set aside a day to gather and stretch this paper thin dough, fill it with nuts, and roll it thirty to forty times before baking it. The process is tedious and at times painstaking, but always rewarding.
In the 1960’s, Virginia (Ginny) and Linda persuaded their father, Vincent, to create this holiday favorite for the Sunrise Bakery. While Vincent set out to create and then, perfect the process of making potica for large-scale production, the two sisters began building a market demand for it. The combination worked and the Sunrise Bakery launched their large-scale potica production that continues to today.
In today’s world, the art of potica making may be a dying tradition. But here at Sunrise, we have perfected it to preserve it. May we continue to bring this rich tradition to your family for generations to come.