As soon as planning starts, we like to hear from customers, anywhere from two to six months…to a year ahead (on wedding cakes).

Bob Anderson

Managing Partner, Linda's Bakery

On this episode we chatted with Bob Anderson, General Manager of Linda’s Bakery, who talked about his early days at Linda’s Bakery, the variety of specialties pumping out at the bakery, what is coming down the road and where people find out more.

Amy Gabay 00:05
On this episode we chatted with Bob Anderson, General Manager of Linda’s Bakery. We talked about his early days at Linda’s Bakery, the variety of specialties pumping out at the bakery, what is coming down the road and where people can find out more. You can find more conversations, food reviews, live music and events on our website, I’m Amy.

Brent Hanifl 00:25
I’m Brent.

Amy Gabay 00:26
And this is La Crosse Local.

Bob Anderson 00:29
Yeah, I’m Bob Anderson from West Salem, Wisconsin. Grew up in West Salem, where Linda’s Bakery is located. And baking is my family’s business. And I’m now the General Manager at Linda’s Bakery.

Brent Hanifl 00:42
It was kind of like you’re just born into it, huh?

Bob Anderson 00:45
Yeah, yeah, I grew up and my parents were working at the bakery and my dad was also helping at the time with my grandpa’s grocery store Lakeview Foods. So spent some days and nights at the bakery as a kid, helping out or just hanging out while they were working.

Brent Hanifl 01:02
So how did the bakery get its start? You know, you talked about grocery stores. It was just always in the family to be entrepreneurs or?

Bob Anderson 01:09
Well, in 1973, my Aunt Linda Meeker. She bought the bakery from another local gentleman. His name was Harold Petland. So the bakery has been existing since the 20s. And through a couple owners and then to my aunt as she purchased the business.

Brent Hanifl 01:29
For people that are unfamiliar with the bakery. What are some of the specialties?

Bob Anderson 01:33
Yeah, our specialties, we make coffee cakes and rolls every day. So customers are coming in to get daily treats. One of our most popular coffee cakes is our pecan ring. I think it’s the best thing we make. Other specialties are wedding cakes and birthday cakes. My Aunt Linda, she started making birthday cake designs from a coffee cake machine, which is kind of like a projector onto a cake and from there, we’ve been making birthday cakes to help people celebrate birthdays ever since.

Brent Hanifl 02:04
It seems like in my lifetime. I’ve always known about Linda’s but also that there was a number of different bakeries around the area that have you know, either gone out of business or just kind of run their course. What do you think has kept Linda’s Bakery going since 1973?

Bob Anderson 02:20
First of all, we have some really great employees that have kept us going and got a good crew of people that all work together, work hard, and support each other. And also we have loyal customers who come in for our products. And I think that customers, they want to celebrate birthdays, they want to celebrate holidays. And that’s what keeps them coming back for those celebrations.

Brent Hanifl 02:43
What’s next for the bakery? Is it just kind of you guys are plugging away? Or do you guys got any exciting events or anything coming out?

Bob Anderson 02:50
Right now we’re plugging away and trying to stay afloat. We’re doing well. Customers are still coming in. And we’re happy to see them. Trying to keep employees busy. Always looking for the next new thing, but right now we’re staying the course.

Brent Hanifl 03:07
For everyone it’s been tough the past, you know, going on maybe two years or more. But how was COVID for the business? Was it something you could easily adjust to just by people coming in and with your store? It’s kind of you kind of pick it up and leave? Correct?

Bob Anderson 03:21
Yeah, we try to have a lot of self service products that are packaged for people that come in and pick up or they can order ahead. We made some changes and adjustments, you know, sticking with guidelines when we can and offering curbside pickup services for customers that didn’t want to come in. We’re trying to serve our customers and the way they want it to be served.

Brent Hanifl 03:42
One final thing, if you could pick out some donuts, what would be the ones that you’d go with?

Bob Anderson 03:47
Man I, one of our newer donuts is a Bacon Maple Long John, I love that one. And otherwise, Custard Sweet Roll would be my go tos.

Brent Hanifl 03:58
Nice. So if people want to find out more what’s the best avenue for them to go to?

Bob Anderson 04:03 is the website. You can find seasonal products there. They can find information for ordering birthday cakes, and also coming out soon we have an online ordering available for in store pickup. So that will be coming in the next year.

Brent Hanifl 04:20
You know just like the season, I’m sure all the time you know for wedding cakes, what’s the turnaround on something like that? When should people get those orders in?

Bob Anderson 04:27
As soon as planning starts, we like to hear from customers. You know anywhere from two to six months is both the window that we make those plans but you know anywhere to a year ahead.

Amy Gabay 04:41
La Crosse Local Podcast is a production of River Travel Media. Do you have an interview idea you’d like to share with us? Message us on Facebook at La Crosse Local? Find out more about us at and you can subscribe to the La Crosse Local Podcast on your favorite podcast. If you like us, rate us five stars. We appreciate it.


About La Crosse Local

La Crosse Local is an arts, food, and entertainment podcast and publication for La Crosse County and its surrounding communities.

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