Paula Madson’s love of baking has now turned into a business.
She opened A Taste of Elegance on April 1 in downtown Iola.
Madson recalls her first baking experience with her grandmother, Dorothy Ambacher, when she was just 8 years old.
“I was finally old enough to help Grandma make krumkake. I was so excited,” she said.
“I remember telling my grandma that it was too hot when I was trying to roll it,” Madson said “She basically told me ‘too bad, it had to get done.’ My solution was to put tape on my fingertips, so it wouldn’t hurt.”
Madson still makes krumkake, but no longer with tape on her finger tips.
Her love of baking has grown over the years.
“I wanted to turn my education in culinary arts and advanced baking into a business,” she said. “I wanted to add something new and different to the Main Street businesses; doing something that I love.”
“It’s amazing to see,” she added. “It’s something that has been going on in the back of my mind for a long time and is now a reality.”
“I’m a unique bakery,” Madson said. “In general, we are a very health conscious society now, so I have baked donuts. I will also offer a wide variety of items that will be different every day. I will be selling things such as cheesecake, by the slice or in a smaller size, versus having to buy a whole cake.”
“All the baking is done right here,” she said. “I do most of the baking during the day and someone comes in at night to do more. I have learned very quickly that the people from the area love scones. So far blueberry scones have been the most popular. Frito bars have been the top seller as well.”
Down the road, Madson is hoping to expand her business to include such things as bread making and cake decorating.
“During the holidays, I am planning on making several different types of Norwegian pastries in addition to other seasonal favorites,” she said. “(Customers will be able to order their favorites or trays of mixed bars.”
Madson is quick to give credit to her mother Pam, who has been there for her from the beginning. “She is my biggest supporter.”
A Taste of Elegance is located at 100 North Main Street in Iola.
Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Complimentary coffee is served daily.
For more information, call 715-445-2008.