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Owner of A Baker’s Wife buys Wuollet and former Urban Bean (with hockey puck money)

Minneapols' Wuollet Bakeries are now... step-cousins? step-siblings? of A Baker's Wife and the former Urban Bean.

Minneapols' Wuollet Bakeries are now... step-cousins? step-siblings? of A Baker's Wife and the former Urban Bean. Google / Street View

After three generations in the family, Wuollet Bakery has sold. The local chain of bakeries known for their cakes and sundry confections has been purchased by Eric Shogren, reports Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

Shogren is a Minnesota native and Blake School graduate who’s made a pretty penny thanks to an empire of bakeries and pizza joints in Russia stretching from Moscow to (Minneapolis sister city) Novosibirsk. Locals, however, are probably familiar with his name for purchasing south Minneapolis darling A Baker’s Wife back in 2016. 

Given the entrepreneur’s decades-long track record of making people-pleasing businesses work across the world’s most frigid, barely inhabitable expanse—we’re talking about the 75-ish operations still running in and around Siberia, not our own frigid tundra, though the confusion is understandable—chances are good Wuollet will be sticking around for a while yet.

The new owner doesn’t plan to change much; after all, 75 years in the baking game is its own, er, proof of Wuollet's local standing. Shogren alludes to making smaller tweaks to the businesses in the near future, borrowing elements from A Baker’s Wife and Kuzina (his Russian bakery chain).

The first glimpse will come at a new property for Wuollet: the former Urban Bean space. After numerous reports of staff abuse surfaced just last month, owner Greg Martin shuttered the Lyn-Lake coffee shop and sold it to Shogren. It’s here that Wuollet’s newest features will debut—like a small menu of sandwiches and Intelligentsia Coffee, both of which Shogren is adding in hopes of catering to a younger crowd.

At the risk of burying the lede here, the Biz Journal also dropped this tidbit of information: Shogren’s initial investment purse came from reselling used, Soviet-era hockey pucks in the U.S. for inflated prices and extraordinary profit margins. 

From hockey pucks to so (so) many bakeries.... What a world!