May 17, 2023 at 7:40 p.m.
Robischons buy Main Street bakery
The legacy of Sauk Centre’s landmark bakery on Main Street is secure with its new owners, Ryan and Natascha Robischon, whose goal of living closer to their family in the area brought them all the way from Switzerland.
“The excitement of the community has been fun already,” Ryan said. “I’m excited to be more involved in the community as well as a local business and see where it brings us.”
The Robischons are looking forward to continuing to offer Sauk Centre’s familiar treats while bringing their European-influenced ideas to the store.
“I have so many ideas, so I will never have a dull moment,” Natascha said. “There will always be new things for people to try. I’m excited to be creative, to try out new things.”
Ryan was born in Sauk Centre. While he moved around with his family, he graduated from Sauk Centre High School in 2001. After trying university studies, he moved around the U.S., including to Nevada, Texas and Colorado. In Colorado, he attended a pastry school and worked in a restaurant, later learning how to be a hairdresser and working in that field for the next 10 years,
While in Colorado, Ryan met Natascha, a native of Switzerland. They moved to Switzerland after they married, and they now have two children – Leon, 9, and Louisa, 5.
When Ryan and Natascha got married, it was their plan to one day return to the United States at some point. They have also spent summer weeks in Sauk Centre. Over the last several years, Ryan’s family had been moving back to the Sauk Centre area.
“My dad had always said, ‘Now, we’re waiting on you guys,’” Ryan said. “(He) suggested to me that the bakery was for sale. He’d seen it here posted on a piece of paper in the window.”
It had always been one of Ryan’s dreams to own a food-serving establishment, and so a casual inquiry into buying the Sauk Centre bakery led to Ryan visiting its previous owners, Bruce and Mary Bartosiewski, in October 2022, before finally purchasing the business. The Robischons’ first official day as owners was May 1, operating under the name The Beck Bakery.
For the Robischons, baking is not an activity exclusively reserved for the bakery.
“At home, we always have a house full of people,” Natascha said. “Our door is always open, and I make focaccia … There’s always fresh bread in the house.”
For the time being, the Robischons are focusing on continuing the bakery’s legacy, baking the bread and donuts the community have loved for years while making it a place where people feel comfortable coming in and sitting down. Toward that goal, there are already a couple of tables with chairs set up in the bakery, and a coffee service is also available.
A couple of foods the Robischons have in mind to bring to the bakery’s shelves in the future are focaccias and baguettes, as well as other crustier breads. A couple of new items already for sale are a Nutella-filled donut with a chocolate and crumble topping and the Berliner, a donut with an apricot filling and powdered sugar on top.
“The Berliner is seen all over Europe,” Ryan said. “It’s a twist on the Bismark that’s a classic here.”
For those watching their sugar intake, the Robischons also plan to offer healthier breads and other options – not to mention ecologically-friendly packaging.
When it comes to introducing European recipes to the area, the biggest obstacle the Robischons face is how different American and European flours are.
“The wheat is softer in Europe, and the grind is finer,” Natascha said. “I’ve already tried some stuff, and it didn’t turn out so well.”
The Beck Bakery’s hours have expanded, now including weekdays from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Robischons cannot guarantee donuts will be available all the way until closing time, but they will do their best to ensure something is in the cases.
The Robischons are happy with how the community has welcomed them as the new bakery owners.
“Our social media response has been insane,” Ryan said. “We never would’ve expected the community would accept us so well right away. We feared there might be a little bit of hesitancy because Mary and Bruce had been here for so long. It was definitely not like that.”
Natascha extends her thanks to the community.
“They come in and say, ‘Welcome,’” Natascha said. “It’s such a warm welcome, where you feel like people are excited you’re here.”
The Robischons are also grateful to the Bartosiewskis for their nearly 40 years of service in running the bakery.
“I’m sure they will be missed, but they did a wonderful job in handing the bakery over to us and setting us up for success and teaching us how to do things,” Ryan said.