The history of Monastery Baked Goods is rooted in a love of baking among the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand, Indiana. Baking has been a part of the community’s history since 1867. While it was initially done to feed and nourish a growing community, some sisters developed their baking talents on their own time and baked various items at any available location within the monastery.
In support of Christkindlmarkt, a German festival held annually in Ferdinand, Indiana, the sisters started making and selling Springerles, a traditional German cookie. Since there was not yet a location designated for the bakery, the sisters mixed and baked the labor-intensive cookies in any space that was available.
While the sisters were making Springerles, the distinctive anise odor filled the monastery. While some sisters enjoyed the fragrance, others suggested making another flavor of cookie. The sisters experimented and created the recipe for Almerles, almond-flavored cookies that have the appearance and texture of Springerle cookies.
For a dinner at the monastery, the sisters decided to make cookies in honor of St. Hildegard, a twelfth century mystic. The cookies were so popular that they also were added to the bakery’s offerings.
The Ferdinand community soon realized that the bakery had grown to become a viable business venture and worked to establish a permanent location for the bakery. In 2008, the bakery was officially entitled “Simply Divine Bakery,” a name chosen from entries submitted by the sisters.
In 2015, the bakery was renamed "Monastery Baked Goods" to more closely relate the name to the Sisters of St. Benedict. A new branch within the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand, Monastery Goods and Services, was created to develop the businesses of the bakery and gift shop.
Established in 1867, the Sisters of St. Benedict currently number 144 and minister as teachers, bakers, chaplains, librarians, musicians, social workers, counselors, spiritual directors, and much more.
Proceeds from your order support the mission and ministries of the Sisters of St. Benedict.
Since our founding in 1867, we have lived the 1,500-year-old monastic tradition of the Rule of St. Benedict, a spiritual path for finding God in daily life. Prayer and work are at the heart of the Benedictine way. Our 140 sisters minister in diverse ways — in schools, parishes, church institutions, health care facilities, retreat centers, and social service agencies — as we guide and support others in their search for God.