ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – There will soon be one less place to buy fresh baked goods in Rochester.
The Gingerbread House Bakery, located on North Broadway, has a a long history in the area, but it will close in less than three weeks on Saturday, September 7.
“I know a lot of people think it’s the Broadway project. We were all mentally and financially prepared for that uncertainty,” said owner Mike Fish. The decision to close has nothing to do with money, revitalizing Broadway, or the building, according to Fish. Instead, it’s a personal decision that stems from his Christian faith.
“I can’t fulfill my purpose using the gifts I’ve been given here. So I have to take this leap: me, my wife, and five kids are going to do this together. We’re going to take this jump.”
About three to four weeks ago, Fish said he realized he wasn’t accomplishing what he felt like God thought he should be doing. “I think He’s been wanting me to help Rochester do what Rochester does: heal through food.”
He broke the news about the decision to close to his 24 employees last week. “I’ve made so many friends and I’m gonna miss them,” said Deb Stevens, who retired from the Mayo Clinic and decided to take a part-time job to keep her occupied. She’s been with the bakery for two years.
A handwritten sign by Fish is taped on the counter, letting customers know the last day to buy a cinnamon roll or donut will be the first Saturday in September.
“Mixed emotions. I feel bad because it’s so nice to see the mom and pop places in town. It’s kind of hard,” said customer Carol Braam, whose first job was actually working for the bakery.
Right now, Fish doesn’t know what the future holds but He thinks God wants to use him to feed people both physically and spiritually. “That’s the direction he’s taking me, I don’t know if it’s going to happen or not I just have to take the jump to find out.”
Fish’s grandmother owns the building. It’s ultimately up to her to decide if she wants to sell; Fish thinks she will. One family member told KTTC that as of right now no one in the family is interested in taking over because the cost and maintenance are just too much.