Sherburne History Center

Sherburne History Center
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Friday, January 18, 2019

A Singular Baker in Sherburne County

“Bake” Anderson, legally known as Clarence Anchor Anderson, remains a little known and unreferenced businessman and contributor to Elk River history.  Clarence Anderson gained the nickname “Bake” early.  He attended the Dunwoody Baker’s School in the 1920s with the goal of owning his own bakery.

Advertisement for Anderson's
Bakery, 1940
Beginning in about 1932, Bake Anderson opened Anderson’s Bakery in downtown Elk River.  38 years he operated, apparently, the only bakery in town. At times, he claimed the title of Sherburne County’s only bakery.  Regardless of the claims, he produced a wonderful array of pastries and breads for Elk River consumption.  Throughout the 1930s he sold ice box cookies, pies, cakes, donuts, and a variety of breads.  At Christmas he sold a number of fruitcakes and breads.  Jula Kaga, a Swedish Christmas bread, remained a specialty unique to his bakery.  He also continuously updated his bakery, guaranteeing a quality product.  To celebrate eight years of business, he gave away donuts and coffee to everyone entering his store.  And, so, he remained in business until the 1970s.

His love of baseball and work to organize little league teams also set Bake Anderson apart from most of Elk River.  In his obituary, memorials remembered his work during World War Two.  “All the fathers were called into service and the kids were running around town with nothing to do.  He organized” teams and leagues.  Despite gasoline and tire rations, Bake Anderson chauffeured the players to their games using his delivery truck. 

For 38 years he built and maintained a bakery business of high tradition. He also contributed to the community and support of young people in Elk River. After his retirement, he continued to live and support Elk River until his death in 1997. 

His community support and his work building a thriving business made the Anderson Bakery and Bake Anderson memorable to the history of Elk River.  A man and business worth noting.

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