It was just weeks ago that fans from across the region lined up halfway down the block in downtown Flandreau in the wee hours of the morning, hoping for one last Flandreau Bakery donut. The Duncan Brothers, who for years had postponed retirement from the legacy bakery, were done. Don and Ed had long been looking to find the perfect person or persons to carry on the business that their father established 91 years ago. But after years of searching — and hoping, it just never seemed to be the right fit. At least not until the Marty Parsley family came along.
Sitting down in the oddly quiet, empty and dimly lit cafe that they now own, Marty and two of his boys, Joe and Ben, explained how purchasing the bakery had been in the back of their minds for quite some time. They had only begun discussing it more seriously over the past couple of months with each other, and with Don and Ed. The family knew of only one other serious inquiry from an entity that wanted to purchase the building and turn the bakery into an office space.
It didn’t sit well with any of them.
“I told them I’d like to see the business stay open,” said Joe. “I worked with them in the back for a few days. Then we started having some serious talks about, ‘Should we buy this thing?’ They run a very good business and have a great reputation. We weren’t 100% sure about it because we didn’t know if we could execute like they did and what the transition would look like….but the tipping point was having the support of Don and Ed to come help us train new bakers.”
In fact, Marty had been messaging Don the morning of our interview, asking Don’s thoughts on any sort of baking classes. “He told me, no” said Marty. “He said, you’re going to learn everything you need to know right in your own bakery.”
The Parsleys feel incredibly fortunate for the support and believe the business will thrive thanks to the Duncan’s guidance. As well, thanks to the love given to the Duncans, the hand-made, old-fashioned pastries that roll out of the ovens each day and the bakery that for so long has called downtown Flandreau, home.
Because we know you are asking:
The Parsley’s have scheduled the grand re-opening of the Flandreau Bakery for Thursday, January 20th at 6 am. The business will be closed, as it always has, on Sundays.
You will most likely see familiar faces behind the counter as many, if not most, of the bakery’s long-time former staff is returning. Jesse Simon will be taking the early shift for baking and he plans to be at the store by 1am Monday through Saturday. The family is still doing some additional hiring, especially for the 3am baking shift.
Very little of the interior design or decor will change.
You should still be able to find whatever your favorite baked goods are, the three said that they plan to continue to serve the products that you have come to love.
The Parsley’s plan to work together on the business decisions and share administrative responsibilities. Ben, the family said, is very handy and can fix just about anything. They add that he is also business savvy and brings an entrepreneurial mindset to the situation. He currently works as a data scientist consulting for ethanol plants, so they believe his knowledge of materials processing they feel will be beneficial. Ben currently plans to work every other Friday/Saturday at the bakery and will help with the 3am baking shift when needed. Marty, the boys said, is always positive and great to work for. Most people in the community may know him as the friendly, hard working guy that he is — he currently farms and works for the USPS. Marty plans to help fill in where needed on the 3am shift in the back. Joe works for Eide Bailly in Sioux Falls as a CPA. He plans to help with bookkeeping, payroll, and HR functions as well as fill in with weekend work (outside of tax season and football season).
“We want to keep it (the bakery) going for the town,” said Ben. “Everybody meets here...it’s like the town pub.”
It’s also a legacy business in Flandreau they know benefits other businesses, and that’s something they all seem grateful for the opportunity to do.
“When I think of all of the things this town and a lot of the guys here have given me…the Booster Club, or what not,” said Marty, “It’s just a wonderful chance to say thank you and give back. It’s just a win-win all around.”