Dakota Harvest

Hearth and Home

Dakota Harvest

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An Architect and an Air Traffic Controller Decide to Open a Bakery…

Dakota Harvest Bakers Storefront
Dakota Harvest Bakers sourced over 80% of our ingredients from within 200 miles of the bakery and strove to find quality fair trade items when looking outside the region. We partnered with local farmers and producers and created a true Farm to Table Baking Experience!

Our honey was from Larimore (North Dakota is the nation’s number one producer of honey). Our wheat flour came from the North Dakota State Mill (the only state owned mill in the country) located in Grand Forks, just blocks from the bakery. Our eggs were from a small farmer in Fosston, Minnesota, picked and delivered the same day. When in season, we got fresh tomatoes for our sandwiches from Park River, North Dakota thanks to some amazing hydroponic gardening. We shopped our farmers market for seasonal produce during the summer.
George and Paul Give Thanks
George Kelley and Paul Holje opened Dakota Harvest® Bakers in 2006 with a goal of bringing Farm to Table Baking to the region. We feel that high quality food is important, yet artisans are equally central to the experience. That is why we named our business Dakota Harvest Bakers, not “Bakery.” The people are the focus, not the building.

We closed our retail doors in 2016 and are now focusing on mentoring other businesses. We hope you enjoyed the talents of our baking staff and the hospitality of our hard working retail staff. We thank you for the many years of support.

Our next project is to help teach others about food and community.

Thank you for supporting local farmers and bakers!

Paul says…

I grew up on a small grains farm near Maddock, North Dakota (see the photo above). I spent my many years driving tractors, hauling grain, and learning about the land from my Dad. The whole family worked in our huge gardens planting and tending potatoes, corn, beans, carrots, and tomatoes. My Mom taught me that cooking and baking are skills are important. I remember cooking hot dish for the farm hands and having harvest meals in the field—everything just tastes better when eating in the field. We would take freshly harvested wheat and hand sort it. Using a small mill, we made our own whole wheat flour. She taught me about bread making and joy than can come when serving food to friends. When Mom is baking, people drop everything to come to the house to have some of her famous Molasses Whole Wheat Buns with some yummy butter and honey. She taught me about cookies, bars, and sweets—many of our most popular items are family recipes.

My family encouraged me to cook and I guess it just stuck with me. They turned me into “foody” with a life long passion for creating simple and flavorful dishes. My dream is to keep pushing for a deeper connection between farmers and diners. Wouldn’t it be great to know the name of the farmer and baker your meal came from? We think so too.

Being a Licensed Architect, I am also passionate about working to create sustainable housing solutions using natural building techniques. Strawbale homes have the potential to reshape housing in the midwest. It creates new markets for farmers too. The farmer, the baker, and the builder... together we will reshape your understanding of farm to table.

George says…

I think that food is in my genes. Mom was a great cook, and Dad was a wizard on the grill. Growing up in Western Illinois, we often had basic Midwestern “meat & potatoes” meals, but were never afraid to try something new. The first full meal I prepared for my parents was a chicken curry - at age 10! “The French Chef” with Julia Child was one of my favorite shows on TV, inspiring me to tackle chocolate soufflé. (Result of First Attempt: A clotted chocolate omelet. Result of Second Attempt: A fluffy cloud of decadent bliss!) By high school, I’d reached my baking phase, routinely cranking out breads, cakes, pies, cookies, and cinnamon rolls for family and friends. Needless to say, I had a group of very happy friends.

Many of the goodies at Dakota Harvest® are direct descendants of the recipes that Paul and I grew up with. Starting with locally-sourced staple ingredients like flour, sugar, milk, eggs and butter, we craft a wide variety of true comfort foods. Because isn’t the point of a bakery to make everyone feel like a kid again? Just the smell and taste of our Snickerdoodle cookies, and I’m 8 years old again.

For me, food can provide the ultimate bond between people. There’s a reason that the sharing of meals and the breaking of bread is a spiritual experience in many of the worlds great religions. Food done right sustains the body and nourishes the soul. Here at Dakota Harvest®, that’s both our mission and our challenge.
Snickerdoodle Cookie