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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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Margaret Eunice Hemker

Tue, Jul 21st, 2015
Posted in Preston Obituaries

Margaret Eunice Hemker, age 84, of Preston, Minn., died Thursday morning, July 16, 2015, at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse. Margaret was born March 29, 1931, in Preston, the youngest of 16 children, to Richard and Pauline (Bender) Sch ..... 
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Engagement - Braunworth Hicks ~ Quanrud

Mon, Jul 20th, 2015
Posted in Preston Social Scenes

Jon Hicks and Judi Braunworth, both of Grand Rapids, Minn., are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter Jacy Cade Braunworth Hicks to Matthew David Quanrud, son of Matt and Karen Quanrud of Preston, Minn. Jacy and Matthew are both gr ..... 
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Fillmore Central Schools sets 2015 eligibility meeting

Mon, Jul 20th, 2015
Posted in Preston Education

The eligibility meeting for 2015-2016 Minnesota State High School League activities will be held at Fillmore Central High School varsity gym in Harmony on Monday, July 27, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. All students entering grades 7-12 and planning to partici ..... 
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Preston approves street maintenance plan

Mon, Jul 13th, 2015
Posted in Preston Government

Jim Bakken, Public Works, outlined the 2015 plan for crack filling and seal coating numerous streets within the city at the July 6 meeting. Councilman David Harrison was absent. Two quotes had been submitted for the project. Bakken recommended the ..... 
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Highway 52 accident under investigation

Mon, Jul 6th, 2015
Posted in Preston Police Reports

On June 29, 2015, at approximately 10:53 a.m., the Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center recieved notice from State Patrol’s Communications Center of a semi crash on Hwy 52, just south of Fillmore County Road 17. This location ..... 
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Dorothy Constance Bammert

Mon, Jul 6th, 2015
Posted in Preston Obituaries

Dorothy Constance Bammert, age 88, of North Mankato and formerly of Good Thunder, died Thursday, June 18, 2015, at her home. A celebration of Dorothy’s life was held 11 a.m., Tuesday, June 23, 2015, at Calvary Lutheran Church, Rapidan. Visitat ..... 
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Fillmore Central to add girls dance team

Mon, Jun 29th, 2015
Posted in Preston Education

The Fillmore Central School Board met on June 23, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. The district bills and payroll were approved by the board High School Principal Heath Olstad noted that of the 27 members of the 2015 graduating class, 24 have plans to con ..... 
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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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