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New Twig Bakery to open second site

When Jim Shelton and his dad sat down for a burger and fries at the Twig Delite more than 20 years ago, Jim didn't dream he'd be running the show one day.

When Jim Shelton and his dad sat down for a burger and fries at the Twig Delite more than 20 years ago, Jim didn't dream he'd be running the show one day.
On Nov. 1, Shelton marked the first anniversary of his status as owner/operator of The New Twig Bakery and Deli.
"Old friends have asked, 'Who ever would have thought you'd end up here?'" Shelton said.
Along the way between burgers with dad at the Delite and his recent anniversary, Shelton studied the retail business for 10 years and has owned a convenience store, the Gary-New Duluth Milk House on Commonwealth Avenue, for the past six years.
Shelton, a product of Twig, was looking "for a challenge" when he was contacted by then-owner Bob Szybnski, who was considering the sale of his business.
"Bob did a wonderful job for those 20 years. He had heard I was looking for a new venture and approached me," Shelton said.
The business had already moved from its location in Twig to the industrial park on Airpark Boulevard in Duluth in 1996. The wholesale side of the bakery had developed a reputation for delivery of its fresh products to retail stores.
There was also a "sweet run" that takes the Twig truck and driver to many businesses early in the morning to deliver doughnuts. The driver is on the road by 5:30 a.m., and back to the bakery by 8 a.m.
"Probably the biggest part of our business is the wholesale side," Shelton said. He'd like to expand that part and is considering expanding the deli items to ship to stores ready-made for individual retail sales and to develop more wholesale business of products to local restaurants, schools and hospitals.
In addition to the wholesale operation, Twig has a deli and coffee shop on site. It offers soup, salads, sandwiches and subs plus specialty breads, sweet rolls and cakes.
"One of our biggest challenges is that people don't realize we have a storefront here in the business park," Shelton said.
The New Twig, named for Shelton's intentions of "adding some new blood" to the business, will open a second, more centrally-located location after the first of the year. Shelton also plans to keep up with the new products by going to trade shows "to see what's out there." He will involve the business in the community and "will continue offering the same famous Twig recipes."
The bakery has added six new employees including bakers, cake decorators and drivers. The three professional bakers bring more than 52 years of total experience.
With a total staff of 14, the New Twig has a depth of experience gained from employees working together over a period of many years. "They show up every night. They have to beat the clock. They are under a time crunch all the time," Shelton said. "I couldn't do it without them."

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