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Miracle Mansion bake shop, tea room now open

Photo by Rachelle Klemme The Rev. Carol Carroll shows off the completed commercial kitchen inside Miracle Mansion.1 / 2
Photo by Rachelle Klemme Carol Carroll just opened a bakery and tea room at Miracle Mansion.2 / 2

A new bake shop and tea room has opened in an old historic building.

The Rev. Carol Carroll said miracles were still happening at the old Merickel Mansion. It is a recurring pun in newspaper articles; in fact, she said the name "Miracle Mansion" was inspired by an August 2003 Pioneer Journal headline.

Plus, she is having another Christmas Boutique and Bake Sale the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Carroll said that she used to have informal bake sales on her property, but after someone complained, she was required to get a state license.

She said that she got the bakery done in less than a month, scrambling to get everything finished by the first week of November and the first craft show.

"Even though I have been made to go commercial, I will still do all homemade products made from scratch with real butter. I'm not changing the way I was baking," she said.

She listed some of the items available.

"People can call in and place orders for the pies, dinner rolls. We do breads. We do all sorts of homemade items," she said.

Carroll talked about her commitment to things homemade and local and looking forward to seeing her customers again.

"We're using a lot of local, fresh product. The gardens, the fresh eggs, the cheeses are going to be homemade here, jams ... we're keeping it local as much as we can."

The second annual Christmas Boutique and Bake Sale will feature Van Yulay Emu Oil products. Carroll said the business owner is flying in from North Carolina.

Faye Waters of Fargo will be autographing her book "Just Imagine."

Handcrafted items and Amish quilts will also be a part of boutique, which will run Friday Nov. 26 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday Nov. 27 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday Nov. 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Carroll talked about being blessed to be ready for business in spite of the odds.

"All the glory goes to the Lord. I've always said that in everything," she said.

Carroll said that ever since moving to Wadena in 2003, she has kept an eye on local issues as part of her ministry. That includes poverty in senior citizens.

"If they have to choose between medicine or food, we're going to slip in and help them," she said.

Carroll said she felt blessed to have escaped the tornado with the house mostly intact.

"We were running through the house as we heard glass and doors coming open. And then when we got to the dining room, I'd looked to the left and seen the big tree going down. I didn't know what we had left when it was over with. But the mansion fared really well," she recalled.

Carroll plans to use more of the building and converted one of the units into a suite with three beds.

"We're eventually going to be a bed and breakfast," she said.

Operating a food service is nothing new to Carroll, as she had many years of experience out west.

"I raised my children as a baker and had two bakery delis," she said.

She also managed a Winchell's Donuts in Seattle and has worked for Albertsons, an Idaho-based grocery chain, and SuperOne as a baker.

Food service is not Carroll's only interest.

"I have a sewing business upstairs because we had a cottage manufacturing company, and I ran that for 20 years," she said.

The bake shop and tea room's regular hours through Christmas are Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Reservations are required for tea luncheons, meetings and special events.

Carroll can be contacted at (218) 640-0474.