Merchants Bank Offers $5 Decorative Plates to Support “Fill an Empty Plate, Feed a Hungry Child” effort and the United Way’s “Packing for the Weekend” Program

The Merchants Bank locations in Cannon Falls and Red Wing are both supporting the “Fill an Empty Plate, Feed a Hungry Child”effort that supports the “Packing for the Weekend”program of the United Way of Goodhue, Wabasha and Pierce counties.

Through December 24 the locations are asking customers and area citizens to help feed area children and their families by buying a $5 decorative plate The plates will be placed on a tree in the Cannon Falls lobby and will be displayed in the Red Wing lobby.

While the Red Wing office has already made a contribution to the United Way, the Cannon Falls office will match the first $500 raised through donations.

The employees of the Cannon Falls and Red Wing offices both support the United Way through individual monetary contributions and through the volunteer efforts of its employees. Red Wing Vice President Patti Robertson and Cannon Falls Vice President Kim O’Reilly serve on the United Way Board of Directors.

Merchants Bank has 21 locations, including Minnesota locations in Red Wing, Cannon Falls, Hampton, La Crescent, Winona, St. Charles, Goodview, Rochester, Rushford, Lanesboro, Caledonia, Spring Grove, and the southern Twin Cities metropolitan suburbs of Apple Valley, Cottage Grove, Hastings, Lakeville and Rosemount. Merchants has Wisconsin locations in Eau Claire and Onalaska. All banks are FDIC members and equal housing lenders. Twin Cities-based Merchants Bank Equipment Finance is also a division of Merchants Bank, N.A.

September Events



9/15: La Crescent Applefest Open House
During regular business hours
At Merchants Bank in La Crescent

Merchants Bank staff will be serving locally-grown apples, apple cookies and coffee in the bank lobby.

9/16: Spring Grove Windshield Washing Fundraiser
2:00-6:00 p.m.

At Merchants Bank in Spring Grove

Join Merchants Bank for a Window Washing Fundraiser to support the Spring Grove Ambulance! Merchants will donate $5 for every car windshield washed from 2-5 p.m. Visit the Merchants drive-thru in Spring Grove for your FREE window washing and help support a great cause!

9/16: Cannon Falls Customer Picnic
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
At Merchants Bank in Cannon Falls

Our staff will be grilling hot dogs and serving refreshments in the Bank parking lot.

9/16: Apple Valley Customer Appreciation & One Year Anniversary
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
At Merchants Bank in Apple Valley

Celebrate the One Year Anniversary of our move to Glazier Avenue. In our lobby, staff will be serving breakfast from 9:00-11:30 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

9/18: Applefest Parade
1:00 p.m.
At Elm & Main Streets in La Crescent, MN

Merchant Bank staff will be collecting food and cash donations during the parade. Please consider supporting the La Crescent Food Share Program with a donation.

9/21: Winona Economic Summit
7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Tau Center – Winona State University West Campus

Join several speakers, including Phil Gwoke from BridgeWorks and Doug Loon from the Minnesota Chamber, for a morning focusing on the theme of Future Growth Demands Response to Workforce.

9/23: Bomber Spirit Night
5:00-6:30 p.m.
At John Burch Park in Cannon Falls

The Cannon Falls Education Foundation invites you to Bomber Spirit Night. Enjoy a spirit night event prior to the football game vs. the La Crescent Lancers. Food, games, and more!

9/30: Battle for the Apple Football Game
7:00 p.m.
At Eastview High School

Join our staff for the city’s high school rivalry football game.

9/30: Lakeville North vs. South Football Game
7:00 p.m.
At Lakeville South High School

Join our staff for the city’s high school rivalry football game. Stop by our tailgate party where we’ll be serving food with all the proceeds going to local high

Bailey’s Irish Cream



  • 1 cup light cream
  • 14 oz. can Eagle sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 2/3 cup Irish whiskey
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee
  • 2 Tbsp. Hershey’s chocolate syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract


Combine all ingredients in a blender set on high speed for 30 seconds. Bottle in a tightly sealed container and refrigerate. The liqueur will keep for at least 2 months if kept cool. Be sure to shake well before serving. Makes 4 cups.

Merchants Family Cookbooks are available at all Merchants Bank locations for $15. Proceeds benefit local food shelf programs.

Cheesecake Factory Pumpkin Cheesecake



  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 3 – 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • whipped cream



Preheat oven to 350°. Make the crust by combining the gram cracker crumbs with the melted butter and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a medium bowl. Stir well enough to coat all of the crumbs with the butter, but not so much as to turn the mixture into paste. Keep it crumbly. Press the crumbs onto the bottom and about 2/3 of the way up the sides of a spring form pan. You don’t want the crust to form all of the way up the back of each slice of cheesecake. Bake the crust for 5 minutes, then set it aside until you are ready to fill it.

In a large mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the pumpkin, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice and continue to beat until smooth and creamy.

Pour the filling into the pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes. Top will turn a bit darker at this point. Remove from the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool.

When the cheesecake has come to room temperature, put it into the refrigerator. When the cheesecake has chilled, remove the pan sides and cut the cake into 8 equal pieces. Use dental floss to make a clean cut. Serve with a generous portion of whipped cream on top. Serves 8.


Merchants Family Cookbooks are available at all Merchants Bank locations for $15. Proceeds benefit local food shelf programs.

The Potato Recipe


Chief Financial Officer Sue Savat shares one of her favorite recipes from the Merchants Family Cookbook. “I really like this recipe for three reasons – it is really easy to make, really delicious to eat and really easy to clean up!  All very important factors in my cooking!”


  • 1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup
  • 1/3 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 lbs. potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes



Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In large plastic bag or bowl, add all ingredients. Shake or stir potatoes until completely coated. Empty potatoes into shallow baking or roasting pan. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes or until tender and golden brown.


Merchants Family Cookbooks are available at all Merchants Bank locations for $15. Proceeds benefit local food shelf programs.

Pretzel Salad



Sandy Kramer of Winona shares one of her favorite recipes. “I love this salad because it’s salty AND sweet. It is ALWAYS a hit when I take it to a potluck.”


Pretzel Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter



On a cookie sheet, bake at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes. Stir and watch closely to prevent burning. Set aside and cool.


Mix together and chill:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip
  • 20 oz. crushed pineapple, drained


Add the pretzel mixture just before serving.

Merchants Family Cookbooks are available at all Merchants Bank locations for $15. Proceeds benefit local food shelf programs.

Rich Raspberry Scones



  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup Crisco, butter flavored
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk or half and half
  • Cinnamon and sugar mixture



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut in the Crisco with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gently stir in raspberries, taking care to keep them as whole as possible. Whisk eggs with milk (or half and half). Lightly stir into the flour mixture. Turn dough out onto a floured board, handling as little as possible. Shape the dough into two (6 inch diameter x 3/4 inch thick) rounds. Score each circle into wedges with a sharp knife. Brush with a bit of milk, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Test with toothpick after 15 minutes of baking.


Merchants Family Cookbooks are available at all Merchants Bank locations for $15. Proceeds benefit local food shelf programs.