Isle Bakery 

Cake donuts are my thing. Sprinkles, even better. These delightful little saccharins are from the Isle Bakery.

Made fresh every single day, Isle has a good assortment of pastries including cupcakes, cookies, donuts, Bismarks, eclairs, and caramel apple fritters. They also offer cake decorating for any occasion. They don’t stop at the sweets either. You can grab homemade breads like flax seed loaf and sourdough when you pass through town. Like any old-fashioned, family owned, affordable, accommodating sweet shop, you can find them by following the unmistakable smell of a sugar and flour in the air.

Owned by Paul and Cori Swenson, both of whom spent their formative years in the area. Cori grew up in Brainerd and actually worked at the bakery for the previous owners.  Paul grew up in the Isle area until his family moved to the Brainerd.  Paul began his love of baking with his stint working at Mr. Donut when he was in high school. Over the course of his career he worked for many bakeries around the country, including the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN. His former clients have included stars and even presidents. He and Cori chose to move back to Minnesota and in March of 2015, they took over Isle Bakery.

While it seems to be a hidden gem, it has become, for many, a family favorite and a must stop on the way to the cabin – and thankfully open seven days a week.

Bass Fishing on Mille Lacs

This past Saturday, I headed up to Isle to go fishing on Lake Mille Lacs with Governor Mark Dayton, Minnesota Vikings Defensive Tackle Linval Joseph and  Minnesota Fishing Page’s Brett and Amanda McComas. We set off in pursuit of bass as Mille Lacs was recently named the best bass fishing lake in the country by Bassmaster Magazine.  USA TODAY gave the same accolade. Hosted by Greg, Suzy, and Dean Fisher of Fisher’s Resort, a three generation, family-owned resort since 1959 who have a few of their own titles including best launch in Minnesota.

Fishing is a favorite among Minnesota traditions and pastimes. So it’s no surprise that Bloomington native, Seth Feider won last year’s Bassmaster Tournament. The win put the spotlight on the lake’s smallmouth bass fishing. Last month, Governor Dayton celebrated the state bass fishing opener on Mille Lacs with Ron Schara and Feider, the Bassmaster Champion himself. This year, the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship will take place on Mille Lacs in September, with Grand Casino Mille Lacs and Mille Lacs Tourism as hosts. Adding clout to Lake Mille Lacs’ growing reputation as no less than a renowned bass fishing destination.

Despite the buzz of boaters on the lake, Governor Dayton made the expedition a blast with his humor and all-around good guy nature. While we only snagged a Northern, it was a great morning on the lake!

Interested in heading to Mille Lacs? Check out for all kinds of ideas. Or snag the new visitor guide. #dothelake #onlyinmn