This dynamic duo puts their best feet forward baking for the Farmers’ Market while balancing family life, work life, friendship, AND also planning AND organizing their local farmers’ market. Get to know Sammi Pals and Kelsey Flot, of Three Rivers Kringla, and how this kick butt team does it all! Check out all of the other Iowa entrepreneurs featured on the Iowa Family Gardening Homestead here.
Where are you located? What does your family look like? Humans and not.
We are a home bakery located in Dakota City, Iowa. Sammi, her husband Michael, and two kids Wayne and Beatta, live right around the corner from Kelsey, her husband Jared, and loveable pup, Lola.
Iowa State Cyclones or Iowa Hawkeyes? (Or favorite team?)
We are very indifferent when it comes to the sport thing Michael likes the Bears and Jared likes the Broncos, and we just cheer for who we’re told
Explain your businesses and how you drive income
Three Rivers Kringla is an unlicensed home bakery, so our sales options can be limited. Fortunately, a lot of restrictions on home bakeries were lifted in the last year, and we’re now able to sell basically anywhere, as long as we are selling directly to the consumer (not wholesale or through another retailer). Our bread and butter right now is the Humboldt Farmer’s Market, which we also organize, as well as some other regional craft and vendor shows and events. Our business especially picks up in the fall and holiday season, since many people think of and crave old school goodies like kringla and lefse around Christmas time.
If you could choose one treat what would it be?
Sammi – ice cream. Kelsey – cheesecake
What have been some struggles with living on a homestead, raising animals and humans?
For Sammi, having young children, a full time job, and a husband that works long hours and weekends has made our baking endeavors a huge challenge this year. There just aren’t enough hours in the day! (or at night) Sammi has to make sure she has a sitter lined up for each market/event, and our easiest baking hours are when the kids are napping Kelsey also juggles her own photography/graphic design business, 2View Photo & Design. Somehow, we pencil in time to make it all work!
What has been the most rewarding part of owning your own business(es)?
We love working for ourselves (who doesn’t?). Our ultimate goal is to have a “real” bakery someday, and this last year has shown us that it could really be a possibility someday in the not-so-distant future. It’s a great feeling to know that our hard work is paying off.
Beach or mountain? Why?
Mountain – heat is not our jam.
What hasn’t worked?
We had a five to six year gap where Sammi lived in the Twin Cities area and Kelsey in Waterloo, Iowa. We still did some special orders for people around the holidays, but just weren’t able to bake like we wanted to. We eventually both came to realize small town life wasn’t so bad Sammi’s been back in the area for about 5 years, and Kelsey just moved back earlier this year. As soon as Kelsey stepped foot back in Humboldt County, our baking took back off and we haven’t stopped since.
What else are you doing that is awesome?
The Humboldt Farmer’s Market! We started vending at the market almost ten years ago, and were asked to take it over then, but the timing with our day jobs at the time just wasn’t quite right. Nearly ten years later, when we saw the opportunity to form a new market committee with a fresh start, we took it! It has been way more work than we anticipated, but totally worth it. You can find us downtown on the 600 block of Sumner Ave. every 2nd and 4th Saturday morning this summer.
What have you learned now that you didn’t know before?
Working on the lending side of a bank has taught Sammi the business side of things that intimidated us in the past, which gives us more confidence in our future endeavors!
Favorite thing to do in your free time?
Free time?? When we do find a minute, we both love gardening, and have ambitions to get our deer-proof veggie garden up within the next couple of years. We’ve gone on several regional garden tours this year, and make an annual greenhouse-hopping excursion every spring.
What piece of advice would you give to yourself when you started this journey?
One fateful night, while prepping for a farmer’s market the following morning, (apparently only) Sammi spent HOURS trying to make perfect, puffy chocolate chip cookies. But batch after batch kept coming out flat and crispy instead, creating more and more stress along the way. After several attempts, Kelsey came to the rescue and helped produce a batch of puffy cookies. The next day, we sold out of the flat, crispy cookies and came home with only the puffy ones leftover. Moral of the story – “it’ll buff” – everything will be fine. “Remember the chocolate chip cookies.”
What is the next thing you are wanting to pursue?
Our “real” bakery is the ultimate goal. Maybe a few years out, yet, but we’ll get there!
Favorite thing to make for dinner?
I think we would both say stir fry! It’s quick, easy, and versatile! And delicious!
How do we find out more about you? Facebook, Instagram, etc. Give me all of the details.
You can find us on Facebook @ThreeRiversKringla, or email us at ThreeRiversKringla@gmail.com