Creating Sweet Concoctions at Pep’s Bake Shop

The Local Bakery in Virginia Has Been Around for More Than 50 Years

Many bags of candy will be collected by kids in the Northland Monday night, but what happens once all the sugar is eaten up in a matter of days?

For this week’s Knowing Your Neighbors, we’re trick-or-treating on the front porch of Pep’s Bake Shop on the Iron Range.

“I think I like the aspect that we are still living and operating in a small town!”

Sweet concoctions often create tasteful confections.

“My Grandfather started working at the Italian Bakery when he was quite young, and one day he decided, you know what, I want to buy this,” Allison Collins, Manager of Pep’s Bake Shop said.

Allison Collins goes to work, doing what she loves, with a long term boss who just happens to be her Grandfather.

“He bought the Italian Bakery and he worked there with my Grandma for quite a few years,” Collins said.

Back in the day, business was booming. The current Pep’s Bake Shop location went up for sale, and was quickly purchased by Collins’ Grandfather, with hope of expanding.

Little did the community know, it would be an expansion for decades onto Chestnut Street, in the Iron Range City of Virginia.

“My Mom quit her job, she was a social worker for quite a few years, and she started working here,” Collins said.

Pep’s Bake Shop is creating their own layer cake these days, if you will.

“I’m one of the cake decorators in the back and I love doing what I do and making special things for kids,” Collins tells FOX 21 News.

Twenty years’ worth of customers have continued walking through the doors on Chestnut, with the Bakery being in the family for over half a decade.

Collins says, “Some of our most popular items are our apple nests, orange donuts, banana donuts are really popular, eclairs of course, I mean everybody loves those.”

It’s an open ended menu, complete with sprinkles, and topped off with satisfaction.

Collins says Pep’s does have a good number or returning customers, but numbers are declining. She believes it’s due to a larger, corporate competition in the modern world.  

“Our products, they’re homemade, made from scratch, we don’t put a lot of preservatives in our stuff so it’s better for you, it’s fresher,” Collins said.

Honoring quality in the community is what keeps sweets, a success, at Pep’s Bake Shop.

“It means a lot to us that people keep coming back and they like our products so much.”

Pep’s Bake Shop also makes a variety of soups and sandwiches for lunchtime. You can visit the Bake Shop at 318 Chestnut Street in Virginia, Minnesota.

They are open for business Tuesday through Friday from 5:00a.m. until 5:00p.m., and on Saturday from 5:00a.m. until 3:00p.m.

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