Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Sweet finds in Montgomery, Part III: Inside the bakery & the drugstore April 12, 2013

Franke's Bakery opened in 1914.

Franke’s Bakery opened in 1914.

NO VISIT TO MONTGOMERY would be complete without a stop at Franke’s Bakery, noted for kolacky, a fruit-filled (or poppy seed-filled) pastry beloved by this community of mostly Czech descendants.

One busy place on a Saturday.

One busy place on a Saturday. To the left, Jule Franke and Mary Ann Kaisersatt work the counter.

In business for 99 years, this bakery bustles with customers dropping in for sweet treats, breads and coffee room chat.

This 18-month-old Montgomery resident stopped in with her dad, grandma and sister for a treat Saturday morning.

This 18-month-old Montgomery resident stopped in with her dad, grandma and sister for a treat Saturday morning.

“You just missed your dad,” noted a baker parceling out sweets to a customer on a recent Saturday morning. “I saw him on the street.”

The tiled exterior entry to Franke's with a sign on the lower part of the door reading: "Kolacky Days Celebration  Czechoslovakian American Heritage.

The beautiful exterior entry to Franke’s with a sign on the lower part of the door that reads: “Kolacky Days Celebration Czechoslovakian-American Heritage.” Montgomery celebrates Kolacky Days each July. You can bet this bakery is especially busy then preparing the ethnic pastry for the celebration.

Yes, this bakery, this south-central Minnesota community, is that kind of place, where everybody seemingly knows everybody and their whereabouts. And I mean that in the kindest of ways.

My Bavarian bismarck. FYI, Franke's ships its baked goods, so feel free to order. The bakery makes this promise: "We bake our breads and rolls fresh everyday the old fashioned way without all those preservatives.

My Bavarian bismarck. FYI, Franke’s ships its baked goods, so feel free to order. The bakery makes this promise: “We bake our breads and rolls fresh everyday the old fashioned way without all those preservatives.”

Randy and I bopped in for 75-cent bismarcks, mine Bavarian (custard-filled), his raspberry, before continuing our perusal of Montgomery’s downtown business district.

Posted on businesses throughout downtown Montgomery, you will find photos and military biios of veterans. This is the Montgomery Veteran's Project, a way of honor the town's veterans.

Posted on businesses throughout downtown Montgomery, you will find photos and military biios of veterans. This is the Montgomery Veteran’s Project, a way of honor the town’s veterans.

When I noticed the lovely floral sign marking Herrmann (how non-Czech is that name?) Drug, Cards & Gifts, I just had to stop at this local pharmacy and general merchandise store marketing everything from shampoo to kitchenware to gifts and Titans school apparel.

The drugstore sells Titans apparel for the local school.

The drugstore sells Titans apparel for the Montgomery-Lonsdale-Le Center school, Tri-City United.

My husband insisted I photograph these "made in China" towels from American Mills. He wants me to submit this to Jay Leno.

My husband insisted I photograph these “Made in China” towels from American Mills and sold at Herrmann Drug. He wants me to submit this to Jay Leno.

I was impressed with the selection; no need to run to some Big Box store when you have Herrmann Drug. And how lucky this town of nearly 3,000 is to have a pharmacy…and so much more.

Herrmann Drug's pharmacy is located at the rear of the store.

Herrmann Drug’s pharmacy is located at the rear of the store.

READERS: We’re not finished yet with our tour of Montgomery. Check back for two more posts. And if you missed my Montgomery stories from earlier this week, backtrack to Sunday and start reading.

To read a previous post on Franke’s Bakery, click here.

And to read about the Montgomery Veteran’s Project, click here.

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling