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The PIEMAN passes his apron


Mon, Jul 27th, 2015
Posted in Preston Features

Past owners, Carol and Joe Gosi, stand to the left of the Preston Apple & Berry Farm sign, passed their aprons onto Hillary and Dane Diede (right). Photo by Jason Sethre

The beginning

While Joe Gosi knew there would come a day when he would no longer bake another pie for thousands of pie enthusiasts, he couldn’t have imagined what it would feel like to hand over his baby to another pie maker -- until he met Dane and Hillary Diede.

With his wife, Carol, by his side, sitting at the tables where he’s entertained crowds of locals and tourists alike for decades, Joe talked about how he and Carol built this business one apple tree at a time.

“When we moved the house over here, all that was here was a cornfield,” shared Carol. At that time, Joe was 50-years-old, and his plan was to build up the orchard business and sell it by the time he was 65-years-old so he could retire.

After he left Jacobson’s Pine Tree Apple Orchard in mid-August of 1985 to start his own orchard, Joe and Carol Gosi purchased 15 acres of land from Jim Hahn. With a sizable freshly planted crop of 400 apple trees the first year, along with four acres of strawberries, Preston Apple & Berry Farm hit the ground running on Highway 52.

While Carol continued to work for the telephone company, commuting back and forth to Rochester until March of 1996, Joe managed their new-found business in Preston. In the background, from the beginning, Carol did all of the bookkeeping, while Joe managed the farm operation.

The business has changed a lot over the past 30 years since its inception. Today, there are roughly 1,000 apple trees, and the PIEMAN has attracted an audience near and far.

But, Joe hasn’t always been known as the PIEMAN. He started making pies in 1995 and it grew from there. As Joe and Carol reflected on their pie-making side of the business, they estimated that they made an average of 3,000 pies per year for a grand total of 60,000 pies over the course of their ownership.

“That’s a lot of pies,” said Joe, with a smile and a chuckle.

As the years progressed, and the pie business kept “rising”, a representative from the Preston Area Chamber of Commerce, Michelle McBride, helped Joe’s notoriety explode to a magnetic tourism level.

Michelle was an extremely creative person, and during a Halloween contest organized by the PACC, Michelle created a display of Joe Gosi using a pumpkin as a head. In that display, she referenced Joe as the PIEMAN. From that point forward, Joe latched onto the concept and his .....
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Children’s polka musician to perform at the Preston Public Library

Mon, Jun 29th, 2015
Posted in Preston Features

Nationally known accordion player and children’s polka musician Mike Schneider (a.k.a. Uncle Mike) from Milwaukee, Wisc. will be performing his Pint Size Polkas program on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at the Preston Public Library starting at 2 p.m. S ..... 
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Trout Fishing Contest winners

Mon, Jun 8th, 2015
Posted in Preston Features

The National Trout Center held it’s annual Trout Fishing Contest on May 16, as part of the Trout Days celebration in Preston, Minn. The weather cooperated completely and excellent fishing conditions were enjoyed. While there were fewer entrants ..... 
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Local bowling team wins state tournament

Mon, Jun 1st, 2015
Posted in Preston Features

A league bowling team from B & B Olympic Bowl in Preston, Minn. rolled their way into the top spot in the Division 1 - five person Minnesota State USBC Women’s Tournament. The Rockin R Syrup team consists of Pam Ruen of Lanesboro, Minn., Kenda F ..... 
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Ribbon cutting set for “Equal Play” playground

Mon, Jun 1st, 2015
Posted in Preston Features

The Preston Park Board invites the community to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new “Equal Play” accessible playground at the Preston Swimming Pool. The ceremony will be Monday, June 8, 2 p.m. at the Preston Swimming Pool. About the pl ..... 
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Large crowds enjoy Trout Days

Mon, May 25th, 2015
Posted in Preston Features

People came from near and far to take in all of the action and activities that the 2015 Trout Days celebration in Preston, Minn. had to offer on May 15, 16, & 17. The festivities began early on Friday morning as city wide garage sales took place ..... 
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Preston State Veterans cemetery opening in September, looking to build memorial rifle squad

By Morgan McManimon-Myers

Mon, May 25th, 2015
Posted in Preston Features

The Preston State Veterans cemetery opening date has been pushed back from the initial planed date of July to a September opening. According to Nathan Pike, the County Veterans Service Officer of Olmsted County and County Legion member of Spring Va ..... 
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New officers for Magdlin-Gilbertson V.F.W. Auxiliary #6893 of Preston

Mon, May 18th, 2015
Posted in Preston Features

New officers for Magdlin-Gilbertson V.F.W. Auxiliary #6893 of Preston are, seated (left to right): Ann O’Connor (trustee), Marlene McKenzie (trustee), Geraldine Daley (president), Diane Johnson (junior vice president). Standing (left to right): ..... 
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The Old Barn Resort is proud to announce 25 years in business in 2015

Mon, Apr 6th, 2015
Posted in Preston Features

The Old Barn Resort, located between Preston and Lanesboro, Minn., was established in 1990 and has grown in size and amenities offered ever since. The resort’s namesake, the large 4-story barn, also celebrates 130 years in existence. It was buil ..... 
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