Breads, pies, cakes and more at Juniata business
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - If you don’t have time to bake, take a drive to Michelle’s Scrumptious Bakery to enjoy a wide variety of tasty treats.
The bakery is owned and operated by Michelle Brooks from rural Juniata. “I have been cake decorating and making goodies for people my entire life,” Brooks said. “My mom was a cake decorator, so I kind of learned from her. In 2011, I decided to start a business in my house. By 2015, it had taken over about three rooms in my house, so it was time to do something different.”
Brooks says she decided to build a business on main street. The bakery sits on a spot where the old Juniata opera house once stood. Later, it was the location for the school gymnasium. “But in 1961, the school gymnasium burned down, and since it had a lowered floor, they just pushed the sides in, and then covered it with dirt,” Brooks said. “The ground had been sitting empty since then.” Brooks says building her bakery was a family affair. “My husband, my four kids, other family members and friends helped built it. We were able to do all of the construction here in the village because we weren’t in city limits. We were able to do the construction ourselves.” A local economic group donated the land to Brooks.
There are a wide variety of items to find at the bakery. Brooks says she doesn’t make donuts, but she does make just about everything else. “We make cinnamon rolls, kolaches, all kinds of different breads. One of our most popular breads is our bacon-cheddar pull-apart bread,” Brooks said. One aspect of the bakery that makes it stand out is the gluten-free kitchen. “We make pretty much all of the same things in there,” Brooks said. “We started doing gluten-free baked goods when we did farmers markets. We found there was a big demand for these items. I’ve shipped gluten-free baked goods to Lincoln, Omaha, and out-of-state.” Brooks has a gluten-free kitchen that is completely separate of her regular kitchen. “Whenever I go in there, and I’ve been working in the regular kitchen, I change clothes, and wash my hands to keep things separate,” Brooks said.
Brooks says she is happy to have her business in Juniata. “I really like being able to support small towns, and keep the small towns going,” Brooks said. “I like the small town atmosphere. I like making items that grandma or great-grandma use to make, and a small town atmosphere really builds on that.”
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