Road tripping to see St. Agnes Baking Co. in St. Paul

Don’t call Danny Klecko just a baker. As the CEO of St. Agnes Bakery in St. Paul, Minn., Klecko considers himself a man of many identities, including poet, social entrepreneur, recipe developer, grunge magician and diva.

After attending the National Baking Center at Dunwoody Institute, Klecko started working at St. Agnes Bakery. The move was a good fit, as St. Agnes’ focus on Eastern European flavors marries well with Klecko’s Polish background. Klecko quickly was exposed to the wholesale baking business, and had the opportunity to bring traditional goods like potato breads and sourdoughs to the Twin Cities community.

Now, Klecko focuses his time on predicting future flavor trends and researching and developing new products. His creations largely are inspired by the culture and heritage of the Twin Cities.

“Every one of [my] recipes are designed for people I know…when you give these products to people, you can tell when you’ve nailed it when their eyes just shoot out of their head,” Klecko said.

Determined to continue creating products people love, Klecko often uses honey for its consumer appeal. He appreciates that his customers view honey as a pure ingredient and believes that it marries well with different flours and flavors from around the world. From granola bars to pastries, ancient grain breads to French rolls, honey is incorporated into many of St. Agnes’ bakery foods.

“Honey is the natural ingredient that will never go out of style. Once you learn how to use it, you’re set.”