The St. Paul community bakery.
On the corner of Randolph and Syndicate St. in St. Paul, you will find the family-owned bakery, PJ Murphy’s. This bakery has been serving up donuts, Danishes, cookies, and all sorts of baked deliciousness for almost 100 years.
Since 1921, four different families have run the bakery. The newest owners, pastry chef Francois Kiemde and his wife, Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, took over the bakery in the fall of 2017, keeping the name PJ Murphy’s Bakery.
Originally from Burkina Faso in West Africa, Francois came to New York in the 1990s. After working in a French restaurant on Madison Avenue and then as a supervisor in a bakery in New York City, he attended the French Culinary Institute in New York. He can bake.
Humble in its appearance, this local bakery is well known for its famous donuts that continually make “top donut” lists in numerous Twin Cities publications. You can taste the French flair in their macarons and croissants.
Sourdough artisan bread, gorgeously decorated cupcakes, scones, turnovers, coffee cakes, kolaches, and timely themed decorated cookies adorn the shop. During Mardi Gras, you can find New Orleans style treats with king cakes and Fleur de Lis cookies.
A spectacular bakery? Yes. But this isn’t what makes PJ Murphy’s special.
This past summer, the murder of George Floyd ignited a nation and devastated the Twin Cities area. This horrific crime happened on our streets, in our community. As riot and protests grew in Minneapolis and surrounding areas, PJ Murphy’s wrote the following:
The city is burning. Smoke and broken window glass images from stores across town inform our senses, our sorrow, rage, our prayers. And we are baking. Packing bread for tomorrow. Sirens going off in the distance. Helicopters circling a mile away.
May our actions and intentions bring about some sort of healing in our world.
And bake they did.
In July, the bakery sold “Healing Our City” cookies to support a Twin Cities’ grassroots movements for healing, peace, and justice in the Twin Cities. For every cookie purchased, they donated $1 to the cause. PJ Murphy’s is the community bakery.
Follow PJ Murphy’s Bakery on Facebook or Instagram, and instantly notice the delectable Pinterest-worthy goodies they offer. You will also see the owners’ faces, employees, and customers all smiling, laughing, and enjoying their newest treats.
And treats and smiles are precisely what we need going into 2021.
Eating Minnesota: Blueberry Cheese Danish, Lemon Poppy Seed Scone, Almond Croissant, and New Year’s Cookies.