Knotty Pine Bakery Announced As 2018 Destination Downtown Winner
Knotty Pine Bakery has been named the winner of the 2018 Destination Downtown contest. The winner of the second annual competition was announced at tonight’s Brainerd Lakes Chamber Celebration of Excellence.
The Destination Downtown contest is a business competition that was launched in 2017 that awards a prize package worth $50,000 to a hopeful new downtown business owner. 73 contestants entered their business idea when the contest was announced earlier this summer. The entrants were narrowed down at the end of October to a final three: Knotty Pine Bakery, Sourdough Sam’s Cook Shanty, and BluPaisley Boutique.
“We look at the business concept and we also look at the person, so the concept has to be something that the judges really believe can be successful in the downtown area. But we also look at the entrepreneur and the success that they could bring, the skills that they could bring to their business, and when you combine the two of those you get a winner, and tonight it was Marie Kirsch,” said Matt Kilian, Brainerd Lakes Chamber President.
Marie Kirsch had the idea for Knotty Pine Bakery and wanted to bring homemade baked goods to downtown Brainerd. She uses locally sourced and sustainably raised ingredients in her products. Kirsch has previously been working out of her kitchen and selling at local farmers markets. Her bakery is slated to open this summer.
“This is just an amazing experience. I’m so excited to get started on it after having dreamed about this since I started it out of my home kitchen in North Brainerd. It’s just going to be awesome to have a storefront bakery finally right in downtown,” said Marie Kirsch, Destination Downtown 2018 Winner. “So, really looking forward to it.”
With the help of local businesses, the Brainerd Lakes Chamber hopes to continue the competition next year.