Secret recipe brings success to small town Kuchen business

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A small town in south central North Dakota could claim the crown of being the Kuchen capital of the state. Kuchen is a German word for cake, and Grandma's Kuchen in Ashley sold over 54,000 of them last year. Exactly what's in the sweet treats that tickles the taste buds of so many customers is a well guarded secret. You need to break a lot of eggs to make great tasting kuchen. But exactly how many eggs, how much cream, sugar, flour and starch it takes depends on your recipe.
"We like a lot of filling and not so much bread," said Lois Meidinger, owner of Grandma's Kuchen.
So do customers of Grandma's Kuchen.
"It's unique, it's good, people like good food and that's why ours sells," she said.
Lois and her husband Clinton, along with three full time employees, roll about about 250 Kuchen's a day from five ordinary ovens.
"It definitely takes a lot of timing and careful measurements, especially with the dough," said employee Mike Martel.
The exact amount and combination of ingredients never leaves this kitchen.
"People try to copy it but haven't duplicated it," said Lois.
On top of the super secret recipe, these bakers have developed several techniques that makes their Kuchen a cut about the rest.
"You lay your hands underneath to let it fill out and that way no air gets caught under it," said Martel. So with only 750 people in Ashley, Grandma's Kuchen has to take their German coffee cake on the road to stay in business.
"We drove 74,000 miles last year," said Clinton,
who says he and his wife deliver their creamy concoctions to over 100 clients in North and South Dakota.
Last year Grandma's Kuchen was gobbled up by over 54,000 customers who wanted a piece of this delicious desert.
The original recipe for Grandma's Kuchen was developed by Nina Kunz of Eureka, South Dakota. Lois Meidinger bought the secret recipe and business nine years ago. Today there are 17 different flavors of Grandma's Kuchen. If you'd like to get your hands on this German delicacy call (701) 288-3605.