Johnson’s Bakery to Celebrate 70 Years in Duluth

Northland Uncovered: Johnson's Bakery

Walk into Johnson’s Bakery in West Duluth and you’re greeted with smiling faces and scrumptious smells.

The bakery opened in 1946 and hasn’t moved.

The bakery was opened by Bill and Lillian Johnson, with Lillian planning to take just two years off of teaching. She ended up staying until 2006.

“There’s a lot of things that are, date back easily 60–70 years,” said Scott Johnson, President of Johnson’s Bakery and son of Bill and Lillian.

He tells us when something is great there’s no need to change it, “There’s still some of my grandma’s recipes that we use like our sugar cookies and our cake doughnuts.”

Through the years it’s remained a family business.

“Other than my mother and father, my grandmother, and then we had numerous cousins that worked here over the years,” explained Johnson.

He calls it a true family operation, “Even now I have both of my sons working here and my wife.”

Every morning customers fill the bakery to get their taste of the popular baked goods.

“There’s so many people that walk in the door day–in and day–out that by now I know by name for the most part over all the years,” said Johnson.

They’ve come here for so long they even have their own stories of the way things used to be.

“There’s a lot of customers that still shop here from the time they were small kids maybe living in the neighborhood,” said Johnson, “we hear stories of all the people who’ve come back to town and you know give us their stories of when they were young and what things were like.”

Johnson tells us the current push to shop locally has helped the shrinking industry.

“We are really the last of the family run bakeries in town,” Johnson said. He tells us that is something he doesn’t take for granted.

“I think back in the fifties and stuff there was probably somewhere between 50–60 little bakeries in the Duluth area,” Johnson explained.

Proving that with a family behind you, there’s nothing you can’t do.

“We’re really the only one that’s still around from that point, so it’s gratifying in that regard that we’ve done something right over the years,” said Johnson.

Johnson’s Bakery will be celebrating 70 years in January.

On January 9 they’ll have specials and activities at the West Duluth location. 

You can find them at 2230 W 3rd St., Duluth, MN 55806.

Their number is (218) 727-1889.

They also have a second location in Lakeside at 4509 E Superior St., Duluth, MN 55804.

For more on the bakery and what they offer, visit

You can also visit them on Facebook

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