If you’ve spent any time in northeastern Wisconsin, you’ve likely encountered delicious baked goods from Manderfield’s Home Bakery, a family bakery that prides itself on friendly customer service and exceptional, top quality baked goods.
Whether you stopped at one of their three locations or visited an area restaurant or business that features Manderfield’s tasty items on their own menus, Manderfield’s Home Bakery is the largest provider of freshly baked goods in Wisconsin’s Fox River Valley. Each location, two in Appleton and one in Menasha, has its own specialties, but they all offer the staples their customers have come to love.
From fresh donuts, decorated cookies and artisan breads to special occasion cakes, a large selection of pies and much, much more, the Manderfield family turns out 400 varieties of baked items honed from more than eight decades in the bakery business.
“Manderfield’s Home Bakery is a true hometown family bakery,” said Greg Wagner, senior territory manager of General Mills, who has worked with the Manderfields for nearly 20 years. “Not only do several members of the Manderfield family run and operate the business, their bakeries are all special places in the community where customers know they will be treated like family.”
All in the Family
The family of fourth generation bakers got its start in 1934 by Frank and Marie Manderfield. After working at bakeries in Brillion and Kaukauna, Wisc., Frank began baking items out of Marie’s kitchen in Appleton.
It was their son, Dennis, who launched what is known today as Manderfield’s Home Bakery in 1979. Prior to this, he ran his own successful bakery called Best Bakery in Menasha for 16 years, and he and wife Lois had six children who have all worked in some aspect of the bakery business.
Three sons—Paul, Doug and Jerry—continue to run the successful business today, each bringing a unique set of talents and expertise. Paul is a master baker and serves as general manager. Jerry is an extraordinary cake decorator and manages the Appleton West location. Doug, known as a creative organizer and good communicator, is in charge of hiring staff as well as merchandising and marketing for the bakery.
Doug credits the employees for playing a major role in the bakery’s success. Since he came on board in 2001, he has made the customer “experience” a top priority and it shows.
“Our guests come to be treated with familiar smiles and professional service,” said Doug. “We treat our customers the way we want to be treated and strive to maintain a clean and comfortable environment that they will want to visit again and again.”
Ingredients for Success
Paul says that beyond customer service and that special small-town feel that the bakery evokes, its takes turning out top quality products at a fair price to maintain success.
To do so, Paul and his staff pay close attention to ingredients and products that help them bake up tradition every day. Some of the General Mills’ products that they rely on include Harvest King Flour for its European-style, artisan breads and Pillsbury Crème Cake Bases & Mixes for the bakery’s vast offering of specialty cakes and other desserts.
“General Mills helps us to keep up with demand while providing the consistency and quality our customers have come to expect,” said Paul.
Above all, it’s clear the Manderfields take great pride in serving their local customers and make an effort to maintain a positive image in their community. It’s a mutual adoration as their customers have voted them the Best Bakery in Fox Valley for the past 16 years.
“We are proud to maintain the quality and integrity of a family business started by our grandparents over 75 years ago,” said Doug. “We are grateful to our loyal customers.”
Heading into fall, Manderfield’s leverages the season by offering specialty items such as pumpkin pies, breads and cakes as well as fall-colored blossom cookies and traditional cut-out cookies in the shape of fall leaves. Another fall favorite is “Grandma’s Pumpkin Torte,” a recipe from Jerry’s wife’s grandma, which includes a decadent pumpkin mousse and graham cracker crust.
In addition, since the bakeries are located in Green Bay Packer territory, they offer a number of fan favorites. “Anything green and gold sells well during football season,” said Doug. This includes cookie cut-outs in the shape of football helmets, “Packmen” and even cheese heads.