By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD—Jan Rasmussen did not come out of retirement for the money. For the former optician, it was a passion for helping people that drove her to open the doors of JJ’s Bakery in July of 2013.
Rasmussen loves to work and got bored in her retirement. “I’m not afraid of work. I can get up in the morning and say, ‘Hey, I’ve got something to get up for,’” she said.
It did not bother Rasmussen that she had very little culinary experience. “I couldn’t even tell you how much a donut was, and then I was retailing. You wing it. You can do it. I’ve gone by the seat of my pants my whole life,” she said.
Business savvy was not a problem for Rasmussen either as she previously owned Jan’s Optical in Marshfield and knew what she wanted to do with JJ’s.
“I’m just so excited I can help people,” Rasmussen said. “If I was here for money, I sure wouldn’t be in this business. 75-cent muffins doesn’t make you rich.”
Rasmussen said she loves Marshfield, and living here all her life she wanted to do something positive for the community.
“It’s my town. I love this town,” she said.
The best way for Rasmussen to use her bakery for good was to make gluten-free food. All of the gluten-free food for the bakery is made in its own designated kitchen that ensures as little wheat contamination as possible.
Rasmussen noted that the process for equipping a gluten-free kitchen has been long and expensive, especially after installing a $10,000 Mitsubishi air-filtering system, but she wanted to undertake the project because she saw a need.
“I wanted to get into it so badly,” Rasmussen said. “My niece is celiac, lactose, can’t have nuts, and now might be a diabetic. She had no place to go to get anything.”
Others like her niece are the reason Rasmussen works 65 hours per week. She said that children who might need gluten-free food inspire her work.
Rasmussen does not believe everyone should adopt a gluten-free diet, and JJ’s Bakery offers goods that are not gluten-free as well. It is important for her to offer both, Rasmussen said, though every item JJ’s offers can be made gluten-free.
JJ’s bakes homemade bread with no preservatives, and Rasmussen said their signature item is cranberry-walnut sourdough bread.
JJ’s also makes wedding and birthday cakes and strives to accommodate the requests of every customer. For special orders it is important to notify JJ’s well in advance.
To reach JJ’s Bakery for special orders or for more information, call (715) 207-1485. JJ’s is located on the corner of Chestnut Avenue and Doege Street in Marshfield.