New shop in Scandinavia
By Holly Neumann
Tom Spoerl has two hobbies – trout fishing and baking – both of which he has enjoyed for as long as he can remember.
“I like going to rivers all over the place and tossing in a line,” he said. “And when I was little, I used to follow my grandma around while she was baking. I found out I really had a knack for both. I guess you could say, it is in my blood.”
Spoerl, who had always dreamed of one day owning a bakery of his own, set up a roadside food stand during the Iola Old Car Show.
“I was selling pulled pork sandwiches on homemade rolls and people just kept telling me I should open a store,” he said. “I thought why not, I better do it now.”
From that, Trout Bum Bakery, located at 235 N. Main St., Scandinavia, was born.
“Everything is working out really well,” he said. “There is a lot of potential here. I thought things would slow down during the winter months, but that has not happened.”
Specialty items include bakery items, fruit Danish, cinnamon rolls and morning buns, made from farm fresh eggs and all-natural ingredients whenever possible.
“There are so many people that are hungry for homemade baked goods,” Spoerl said. “I feel like I am filling a need in the community. And it’s all made from scratch.”
Word is definitely spreading about the bakery.
Susie Melum, of Iola, heard about it from a co-worker.
“A friend from work told me about it and told me it was a pleasant surprise and I should stop,” said Melum. “I did and have been going ever since. I just like the place in general, great coffee, great sweet treats, great weekend spot, great people and atmosphere.”
Keary Drath agrees.
“Our family likes going there for the great coffee they serve and meet up with friends and family before church,” he said. “We like the biscuits and gravy and also the quiche. It’s really neat to watch the river run by while eating on their deck.”
“Biscuits and gravy are only served on Sundays and are homemade too,” Spoerl said. “You get a filling breakfast for $5.”
Another hot item on the menu is stromboli.
“Stromboli is a rolled up pizza dough, filled with different types of cold cuts, roast beef, corned beef for St. Patrick’s, pepperoni and provolone cheese,” Spoerl said. “I try to do stuff that no one else does. It was a good fit here.”
He has hopes of one day expanding to other small satellite shops around the area. But for now, he enjoys the small town charm of Scandinavia, where generations of families come in to share their stories.
“I have farmers come on their tractors, fishermen in their waders and even police officers stop by in their cars,” he said. “You know they always say you have a good location and good food when the police officers stop by.”
Spoerl also sells his home baked goods to area bars, restaurants and takes orders for special occasions.
Trout Bum Bakery is open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, except for a split shift on Thursdays from 7-11 a.m and from 4-6 p.m.