4509 E Superior Street
2230 West Third Street
In January of 1946, Bill and Lillian Johnson, aided by Bill’s mother, Mary, opened the doors of Johnson’s Bakery. Bill and Mary had baking experience, but Lillian had chosen a career as a teacher. To help her husband fulfill his dream, she agreed to learn cake decorating- and help him for two years. She was an excellent decorator, establishing a reputation for her wedding cakes. As it turned out, she worked at the bakery until she was 86, which meant she often created wedding cakes for a second generation of brides.
At that time, a grocery store occupied part of the building space and a meat market was next door. Duluth and the surrounding towns also had many family-owned from-scratch bakeries whose owners formed friendly competitions with one another and who respected each others work. We are the lone survivors of this group, carried on today by the Johnson family.
We are grateful to the hard-working people who taught us to value our customers and to make good products, even though baking-from-scratch is much more challenging and difficult. Bill and Lillian also taught us to work side-by-side with our dedicated employees.
True entrepreneurs, Bill and Lillian accepted an invitation to open to open a bakery in Shoppers’ City, the first shopping center in Duluth many years ago. So, in addition to the long hours at the original location, their commitment to church and community engagement and to family, they could not resist the challenge of a new business venture. And, as if that was not enough to do, Bill was active in the Minnesota Retail Bakers Association, at one point serving as its president. Son, Scott, too, was engaged with this organization, serving a term as president. Both Bill and Lillian were inducted into the Minnesota Bakers Hall of Fame.
Our dedicated long-time bakers were joined by bakers from some of the closed bakeries, allowing us to draw from a talent pool as we continue to provide great products and great service to both individual and business customers. It is important for us to maintain the integrity of our family tradition. Thus, many of the recipes developed over time are still in use, along with our new experiments. And, the original Lincoln Park building, built in 1916, has an “old fashioned” feel with an elegant tin ceiling. As winners of the first Pillsbury/General Mills grant to retail bakeries, we were able to upgrade the customer space without sacrificing the sense of tradition.
We appreciate our long-time loyal customers and welcome you as you visit either of our stores as a new customer! In addition to our individual customers, we also serve a wide variety of area businesses, from hotels to catering services to restaurants. If your business is interested in our goods, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (218) 727-1889 to learn more about our products and services to the business community.