America’s SBDC Iowa is an outreach program of Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business and the Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations. Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The Kringle Man Pastries, Elk Horn
After retiring from teaching in 2015, James Uren decided to open a café in a local gas station, serving as a bridge to his retirement and filling a need for the communities of Elk Horn and Kimballton. While at the café, several people in the community shared family recipes for baked goods, which Uren began to make in his café. In 2018, the gas station closed, forcing the café to close along with it.
By this time, Uren was able to find a market for his baked goods outside of the local community, attending craft fairs, town festivals, county fairs, and school fundraisers to sell his Kringle and other Danish pastries. Uren then moved his baking facilities to Main Street in Elk Horn and took his traveling bakery to the next level by beginning to bake for multiple shows on the same weekend. In 2019 he attended 70 different shows and traveled almost 35,000 miles, traveling to Chicago, Minneapolis, the Ozarks, Sioux Falls, and many stops in between, serving Kringle, turnovers, and other pastries.
Then, in 2020, COVID-19 hit. Kringle Man Pastries lost the ability to travel to shows and peddle baked goods, with over 50 booked shows for 2020 being canceled. Barely hanging on, Kringle Man Pastries set up a website to join the world of online business. With the help of the Small Business Development Center and The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, Kringle Man Pastries created a smaller version of the Kringle. They began to market the Kringle as a wholesale product and expand their market to several Hy-Vee’s in the Des Moines metro, Ames, Estherville, Spirit Lake, Storm Lake, and Harlan. They were also able to get some local grocery stores to carry the Kringle in Guthrie Center, Manning, Missouri Valley, Audubon, and many other towns across Iowa. Additionally, the Kringle Man Pastries had the constant support of the Danish Windmill, Museum of Danish America, the Norse Horse, Grace on Main, and The Egg Krate as local outlets for the Kringle.
Entering 2021, Kringle Man Pastries was able to attend shows again, starting with county fairs and eventually craft fairs. Given the opportunity to move into an old bakery building, Uren decided to move locations once again, offering coffee and pastries for the public to enjoy. With plans for new products in the works and countless shows already booked, The Kringle Man has steadily come back even stronger than before the COVID-19 pandemic!
Learn more about Kringle Man Pastries here: https://www.thekringleman.com