Generations of quality, from our home to yours
Danish immigration begins. Racine quickly becomes "the most Danish city in America" with 10% of all Danes in the USA.
“Immigration makes Racine, WI, the most Danish city in America”
Back in Denmark, Danish Bakers Association go on strike; bakers from Vienna, Austria are brought to Denmark to fill the need of skilled baking and use their knowledge of dough folding to create new types of pastries; Danish Bakers co-mingle and add additional ideas, fruits and fillings
Danish Dough and Pastries as we know it are born
“The Danish bakers strike leads to danish dough and pastries as we know them”
Kringle is likely introduced to Racine at the turn of the century; At that time, the Kringle was still in its traditional "pretzel" shape with a limited number of fillings. A number of family run Danish bakeries were opened in the 1930's.
“Kringle is introduced into Racine at the turn of the century”
Finding it difficult to sustain himself and his six children in Denmark, Anton Olesen sets off for America in hope of a better life. 2 years later he scrapes enough money to bring his teenage son Christian to Racine. Christian finds a job in a local bakery.
“Anton Olesen sets off for America in hope of a better life”
After learning the baking trade for 25 years, Christian Olesen opens his own bakery with a partner in May 1949, naming it O&H Bakery. Christian's son Ray and his wife Myrna purchase the business in 1963, leading the bakery to new heights.
“O&H Bakery is founded by Anton's son, Christian Olesen, in 1949”
Racine customers begin to request more filling in pastries, particularly in Kringle, leading to Racine bakers creating a new oval shape for Kringle to satisfy their customer's desires.
In 1956, Dwight and Lady Mamie Eisenhower receive a Kringle as a gift, proclaiming it publically as one of their favorite pastries. Kringle popularity begins to soar.
“The unique oval shape of Kringle is born, thanks to savvy Racine bakers”
In 1972, Ray Olesen moves O&H Danish Bakery to a new, larger location on Douglas Avenue. Then in 1982, O&H opens its second store, located at 4006 Durand Avenue, allowing customers from both the North and South side of Racine to enjoy O&H bakery.
“Christian's son, Ray and his wife Myrna begin to send Kringle via mail”
The third generation of Olesens take control of the bakery, taking it to even further heights. In 1999, Ohlaf is born to commemorate 50 years of delicious bakery from O&H.
“The third generation, Dale, Mike and Eric carry on the Kringle tradition”
After decades of former Racine residents sending and receiving their Kringle via mail across the country, the internet allows for Racine bakeries to reach more and more customers to introduce them to the delight of Danish Kringle.
In July 2013, after over a century of it being made in Racine, Wisconsin, Kringle is signed into law as "The Official State Pastry of Wisconsin."
“In 2013, Kringle is honored as Wisconsin's Official State Pastry”