The original oblaten recipe and the specialized baking irons were brought to this country in 1948 by Frank and Josephine Ullmann after a harrowing escape to the West from Carlsbad, now the Czechoslovakian town of Karlovy Vary.
Settled in St. Paul, Minnesota, the success of Mrs. Ullmann's Oblaten in garnering blue ribbons at the State Fair encouraged the couple to open an Oblaten bakery. They did, and the unique continental delicacy became as popular with the few Americans who knew about Oblaten as it had been with European aristocrats.
The handmade wafers were often in short supply, especially during the holiday season. Nevertheless, word of the famous oblaten from Carlsbad was spread to ever widening circles of enthusiastic devotees. Besides, the festive wafers made especially welcome gifts.
In 1973 the business, recipe, and irons were passed on to another family of oblaten enthusiasts: Marie Kennedy and her mother Dorothy Sisco. Later they were joined by three Kennedy granddaughters: Regine, Jolie, and Kerry. They continued to honor the historic tradition as meticulously as the Ullmanns and their predecessors by forming Award Baking International.
The Tradition Continues
In 2002, Tim Kraft and Ken Barron became the owners of Award Baking International. In May of 2003, Award Baking moved into its parent company's building. Kenny B's Cookie Company, located in New Germany, Minnesota is just 40 miles West of Minneapolis. Here they combined their production of Kenny B's Biscottini® with Original Carlsbad Oblaten®. Their team efforts combined decades of food experience with a lifetime of business ventures focusing on customer service and market expansion.
While Mr. Barron has moved on to other food service opportunities, Mr. Kraft has been building a team of food sales, marketing, nutrition, production, and customer service experts ever since. Award Baking continues to strive for excellence in all areas.
Today, the most authentic oblaten and biscottini in the world are proudly and faithfully made in America, specifically in New Germany Minnesota, a fitting location considering oblaten's heritage.