Main Street Kansas: Small town of Marion embraces two local bakeries

Main Street Kansas

MARION, Kan. (KSNW) – In a town of less than 2,000 people, two local bakeries opened a month apart.

CB Baked Goods is owned by baker Rachel Collett. Collett and her husband live upstairs from the bakery in downtown Marion. The building is located in the CB Wheeler building, built in 1911 by Charles Borquin Wheeler. In 1913, it became the hospital until the 1950s when a new hospital was built.

“We love this old building, we renovated upstairs and we live upstairs and now I own a bakery in the bottom of my building, so I walk down the steps to work everyday,” Collett laughed.

Collett worked in a school cafeteria when her children were little where she learned to bake for large quantities of people. Three years ago, she and her husband moved back to Marion and as she looked for a job, decided to pursue opening her own bakery 18 months ago.

“Well it’s been more than I ever dreamed it could be, just because the response from people has just been astronomical,” Collett said.

As of January, Collett had baked 19,800 bierocks in her downtown shop. She also makes cinnamon rolls, cookies and a creation of her very own: bolsos.

“Here in Kansas, a bierock is very traditional hamburger, cabbage, onion filling. And I knew when I opened my bakery, I wanted to do other fillings and I couldn’t call that a bierock, so my daughter and I brainstormed and decided on the word, bolso,” Collett said.

Bolso is a Spanish word for purse or envelope.

“It’s taken on a whole life of itself. People now know what a bolso is here in Kansas and they come in and they ask for bolsos,” Collett smiled.

Bolsos at CB Baked Goods come in four kinds: breakfast, pizza, ham and cheese and Mexican chicken.

Just half a block down Main Street sits another bakery, FamLee Bakery.

“Not so much that we are competitors, as we compliment each other,” Collett explained, “We both do very different products. I go buy products from them, they come buy products from me. We know each other, we’re friends. I think people realize that we’re not here to compete with each other, we’re here like I said to offer a service to the community.”

The Lee family opened FamLee Bakery just a month after Collett opened CB Baked Goods.

“We try to work together as much as we can. The only thing we do the same is cinnamon rolls, and our cinnamon rolls are nothing alike. I go down there to buy my bierocks, she’s been down here to get pies,” co-owner and baker Jenny Craft said.

Craft and her sister, Catie Zurcher worked away at making lasagna and garlic bread while KSN was there.

“We saw the need in the town, it was something Catie and I could do together and we enjoy it,” Craft said.

FamLee offers deli sandwiches with fresh-cut meats and cheeses, cinnamon rolls and scones and other items. The sisters agreed, owning a bakery with family is mostly fun but poses some challenges.

“There’s a lot of us, there’s a lot of opinions and we’re all a little strong-willed,” Craft laughed.

Much like Collett’s bolsos down the street, the sisters say a lot of the fun has been in bringing new flavor to the town of Marion.

“We’ve made palmiers which is a puff pastry, wrapped up with sugar inside. They’re also called elephant ears and people around here would have never even known to try that,” Catie Zurcher said.

FamLee Bakery is located at 330 N. Main in Marion, open Tuesday through Friday, 5:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and on Saturday, 5:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

CB Baked Goods is located at 420 E. Main in Marion, open Tuesday-Friday 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

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