Plymouth Council Member Gives Second Life to Minneapolis Bakery
Every couple of weeks, you’ll see Plymouth City Council member Alise McGregor at Plymouth City Hall sitting through long meetings and making important decisions on behalf of Plymouth residents.
But when she’s not in the council chambers, you can find her at YoYo Donuts in Minnetonka.
“We have donuts, ice cream and coffee,” said McGregor, who owns YoYo Donuts. “They’re all delicious.”
YoYo Donuts is a bakery that’s known for having delicious pastries, prepared in a setting that’s entirely free of nuts.
“I love our products, but what is really cool about YoYo is we have people that come in that have never had a doughnut, never had any type of a pastry because they have an allergy and it would be cross contamination,” McGregor said.
The existence of a bakery like this is a saving grace for people with nut allergies.
Meanwhile, 17 miles away in north Minneapolis, Thirsty Whale Bakery serves a different type of need.
“One, north is a food desert,” said Kyle Baker, Thirsty Whale Bakery’s head baker. “I mean, we have two grocery stores in north. We have lots of different corner stores, but in reality, there’s not that many food options.”
Thirsty Whale has been a neighborhood favorite for the last several years, which made it all the more devastating when Baker announced on social media two weeks ago he had to close the shop due to economic reasons.
“Everything from flower, eggs, butter, everything jumped,” Baker said. “So that’s a large part of it.”
Not closing after all
However, McGregor didn’t want to let that happen. Upon hearing the news, she immediately reached out with an offer to buy the business, keep Baker on as head baker and merge the two brands.
While YoYo Donuts specializes in donuts, Thirsty Whale offers items like cakes, cookies and cannoli. The merger gives YoYo another line of bakery products to sell and takes some of the administrative responsibilities off Baker’s plate.
“He doesn’t have to worry about marketing, doesn’t have to worry about payroll, all those different things that business owners have to do,” McGregor said. “He loves to bake. He’s a phenomenal baker.”
A phenomenal baker who can keep doing what he loves, in a shop he helped to establish, all thanks to an assist from a member of the Plymouth City Council.
“I’m excited that we’re going to be able to keep going,” Baker said.
Thirsty Whale officially reopens under the new ownership structure on Monday, Dec. 18.