The Baker's Corner: where we share with you the best baking secrets, recipes, sales, specials, strategies, events, tricks of the trade, stories, memories, and most of all lots of warmth and laughter. Why? Because we have always believed that like crafting quality food and bread, running a family-business is about creating moments and traditions to be enjoyed.
Potica (po-TEE-tsa) is an Eastern European dessert bread. Its history is rich here on the Iron Range and it may be the item that most defines the Sunrise Bakery.
In the 1960's, Ginny Forti, current co-owner of Sunrise, set out to be the first to commercially market this bread nationally and internationally. So the story goes, Eunice Kennedy visited the Iron Range, tried potica, and declared it to be served at her brother's inaugural celebration, if he was elected. This was confirmation enough of this dessert bread's popularity, to inspire Ginny to market it. And so it all began... Then in the early 1990's, the Los Angeles Times discovered and covered this delicacy, helping to propel our national sales.
In time, potica would become a food that defined both the region and state's culinary scene. In part, our success is due to the complexity of creating this product. Like all our products, we still craft each potica loaf from scratch and by hand. Here is a step-step photo guide:
As we are about to wrap up another holiday season and our one-hundredth year, we want to say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Enjoy the days to come. Stay tuned for more tips in the New Year. What will our one-hundredth and one year bring?
Here we are, amidst the most wonderful time of the year. Although, the irony of that sentence is rich, as we cap off our first week of negative twenty temperatures up here in Hibbing, MN. For most, it is a season of family, friends, snow, sleigh rides, giving, Christmas lights, good food and joy. Here at Sunrise, it is a season of potica, potica, potica, potica, potica and more potica. And a wonderful season it is! However, we found time to break from the walnuts, honey and butter, to share with you our latest news.
Up North Magazine Article
Late fall, Kathy-Jo Wargin and Ed Wargin from North Magazine, a local journal out of Duluth, MN, came to visit us. We spent the day crafting our famous potica. We sent Kathy-Jo and Ed home with the perfected product. We hope it was as good to them, as their work about us was to us. Check it out:
Now watch that video one more time and imagine repeating that process thousands of times per day: tis the season! Thanks Kathy-Jo and Ed.
The Sunrise Market
This November, Tommy Forti, son of Mary Lou & Tom Forti, opened the Sunrise Market in St. Paul, MN. Located on 865 Pierce Butler, the Market offers Sunrise Creative Gourmet's products, our potica and favorite baked goods, and a variety of Fraboni's products. We are excited to be part of bringing Hibbing's finest foods to our loyal customer base in the City and we promise to keep you posted on the Sunrise Market's Grand Opening, soon to come. Explore more on the Sunrise Market: The Sunrise Market.
Finally and most importantly, we wanted to thank the Hibbing Chamber & Mayor Cannatta for celebrating one-hundred years with us. We would have never made it to this milestone without the incredible community support we have had. Thank you:
As we sit on the eve of our one hundred year anniversary, equally looking forward to the future while cognizant of and commemorating the past, we launch this blog, the Baker’s Corner.
We had hoped to somehow summarize our first one hundred years in an eloquent fashion, deserving of such an occasion. It would somehow speak of Pine Street, Hull Rust Mine, the first brick oven, the Italian bread, the family wine press, World War II, Nonna and Nonno, the city of Hibbing, stretching potica dough, potica, Ada and her cakes, my parents, the generations of customers who have supported us, baking bread, potica, my sister Linda, the smell of yeast, the food shows, packaging bread late on school nights, the old store, the new store, the lake brick oven, Mary's Bread Day, potica and more potica, Park Edition, ....and the list seems endless. And amidst these memories, we would begin to teach you how to bake and share with you our continuing stories, sales and successes.
But the task is too daunting. No words in one post could possibly do justice to the infinite number of customers, employees, friends and families that shaped and supported us for the past century. And I have been here for most of these one hundred years. So, I know the immense meaning of each of these people.
So, we will start short, and let this blog be a platform to start a conversation with you---an outlet for you to share your favorite Sunrise memories, to learn some of the family baking secrets and to stay abreast of what's new at the Bakery. Since this one hundreth year has made us a bit nostalgic, let's start at the beginning: one hundred years ago Giulio Forti came from Rome, Italy to Hibbing, MN and started the Sunrise Bakery and we are still here baking the same Italian bread today...
Thank you Hibbing. It has and continues to be a pleasure.
What is your favorite Sunrise memory?