SPN interviews Mitch Jackson of Sioux Falls’ Queen City Bakery
When you walk into Queen City Bakery you're suddenly transported into a crowded city bakery in Manhattan, New York. For owner, Mitch Jackson, that's exactly what he wanted. Jackson started the bakery with his wife, Kristine Moberg, about 15 months ago in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Prior to the bakery, Jackson was working as a business manager in New York's financial district managing $20 million of quarterly spending. Moberg worked as a baker in one on NYC's finest bakeries and has quite a baking resume. She has made appearances on the Martha Stewart Show and the Today Show, and has also baked private cakes for the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker and Heidi Klum.
"Once we found out our passion in life it just made sense. Kristine's passion is being a baker and mine is running my own business," Jackson explained for the reason to start a Sioux Falls bakery.
While living in New York City the couple set a monetary deadline of where they wanted to be if they were going to continue to live in the "big city." On October 1, 2007, they decided it was time for a new challenge and they headed back home to the Midwest to start a bakery. Jackson is originally from Sioux Falls and Moberg is from Rapid City, South Dakota. After debating between Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Minneapolis as potential bakery locations the couple decided on Sioux Falls and got started working.
"We started construction on the building in February 2008 after months of doing market research and building design plans. Then one day as I was pulling nails from the ceiling I decided I was sick of it and ready to open, so we opened the next day in May of 2008," Jackson said.
The Queen City Bakers prides themselves in their high quality ingredients in both their baked goods and in their coffee. Their coffee is shipped in every week from New York City and they get their chocolate and cocoa shipped in from Minneapolis. Every food item on the menu is baked fresh that morning and includes zero preservatives. "90% of Starbucks loyalists will switch to Queen City after having our coffee. It's just that good," Jackson beamed.
Over its 15 months Queen City has grown solely by word of mouth. Jackson insists on not advertising and that way he can honestly and truly manage and monitor growth. The word seems to be working as Sioux Falls residents have quickly become returning customers and even out-of-town customers will drive 30 to 40 miles to pick up a pie or cupcakes.
I asked Jackson why he and his wife left the glamor of the big city of New York to start their entrepreneurial dreams here in South Dakota. He replied, "You start a business to fill a niche. With Queen City Bakery we were able to fit a niche here in Sioux Falls and be closer to family. The best part is that it is different every day. That's the beauty of owning your own business."
So the next time you're in Sioux Falls, transport yourself to Manhattan and enjoy a Queen City Bakery cupcake or a baker's dozen?