Bakery opens to rave reviews

If you’re craving doughnuts, jelly-filled bismarcks, cakes or fresh-baked breads, you’re in luck.

They’re baking again in Princeton.

Vicki and George Rhode, along with sisters Michelle and Georgette, have reopened the former Weisbrod’s Bakery at 516 1st Street in downtown Princeton.

The bakery’s Friday opening was creating quite a buzz around town after people started learning about the opening through the Union-Eagle’s Facebook page, where more than 1,500 people viewed a post on the bakery, 118 likes were received and 39 comments left by noon Monday.

The Rhodes are not new faces to Princeton or to the bakery. Vicki, George, Michelle  and Georgette all grew up in Princeton. Vicki and George worked for former bakery owners John and Betty Oliver while in high school.

Vicki “graduated” from the Princeton bakery and went on to a 30-plus year career for Cub Foods at its corporate bakery operations and eventually went on to become a bakery manager in Buffalo.

“I’ve been a baker since I was 17. I’m 50 now,” Vicki Rhode said.

Opening a bakery is a life-long dream of Vicki Rhode. It was a goal of brother George.

“I always told my family that my goal was to open a bakery by the time I was 50,” Vicki said with a big smile.

George, who used to fry doughnuts at the old Weisbrod’s Bakery, has had an interest in reopening the bakery for a while.

The two got together and talked about their aspirations, and then brought their sisters into the conversation. They met with John and Betty Oliver, who still owned the bakery, and a deal was struck.

“Now I’m 50 and I own a bakery,” Vicki Rhode said.

The fact that they can realize their dreams in their hometown of Princeton means more to the Rhodes than dollar signs, Vicki Rhode said.

“Re-establishing a bakery and bringing it back to the way it was means everything to us,” she said.

The only thing the two regret is that sister Mary Rhode and mother Margarite Jones have passed away and weren’t there on opening day to see Vicki and George join with their sisters Michelle and Georgette and see their dreams come true.

“They would have been proud of us,” Vicki Rhode said.

The duo has a plan for success.

“We just want to keep things simple,” Vicki Rhode said. “We want to keep things basic, but good.”

The Rhodes are going to focus on doughnuts, pastries, homemade decorated cakes and breads. Vicki has a whole line of rolls and buns and has resurrected John Oliver’s recipe for fresh, piping hot loaves of bread.

“Almost everything is homemade,” Vicki Rhode said, mentioning that some items, such as bagels, cannot be made on site because of equipment limitations.

George Rhode says the bakery will expand — but slowly.

“Within two years I’d like to see us expand as a small restaurant with sandwiches and burgers,” he said. It would be situated in the small dining area on the east side of the bakery building that is used now as a quaint little spot to enjoy morning coffee and pastries.

The reviews have been encouraging.

“The donuts this morning were amazing. My kids were so excited with all the choices! It’s great to have a bakery in town again,” Chad Ruzek posted to the Union-Eagle Facebook page. Posted Brenda Skaalerud, “Hubby stopped there this morning, pretty tasty!”

Mahria Glenz Sjoquist wrote, “My husband surprised me and my daughter with bakery treats this morning. Yummy cherry turnovers!” Vaughn Dierks added, “The world is right again!”