Our Story - Marlene Banwart next to old mixer from their kitchen
Ken Banwart standing next to his delivery truck
Mom and daughter sitting on couch talking to a woman while holding a Butter Braid Pastry order form and trifold.

Our Story

The brand you all know and love was born out of a need to support our family during hard times. At a local farmers’ market, we began selling produce to make ends meet. Alongside the vegetables were our homemade, hand-braided pastries. These baked goods instantly became a hit with everyone in town. As awareness grew, orders increased. Soon, everyone wanted to have pastries of their own to share with family and friends.

Making and sharing these pastries brought us so much joy, but we knew we could do more. We wanted to use our products to “Share the Good” and support others like they supported us during our time of need. It was then that our mission became clear. Butter Braid® Pastries would be made available through fundraisers. Now, groups, schools, and organizations across the country would have a unique and delicious product to support them in their time of need.

Fast forward to today, Butter Braid Pastries are represented by over 75 independent fundraising dealerships across the country. By staying true to our mission, Butter Braid Pastries and its network of dealers have helped thousands of groups raise over $320 million for local causes.

The pastries are still made in the same Iowa community where they got their start. We’ve continued the tradition of braiding each pastry by hand and making them with our secret ingredient: love. It’s a beloved practice that we hold dear to our hearts and look forward to sharing with new generations for many years to come.

For over 30 years, the Butter Braid brand has “Shared the Good” with you, your family, and your community. And we continue that tradition today, bringing hand-braided pastries to your table to share with loved ones and supporting the dream chasers who are working hard to meet their goals.


At the Butter Braid® brand, we are a family. Through our pastries, we celebrate family and support future generations of hungry dream chasers. 

Years ago, we began making pastries in our kitchen to bring in extra money for our family. What started as a side job grew and grew, from farmers’ markets to retail stores, from mixing bowls to industrial-sized mixers, from home kitchens to renovated buildings. 

What started as love for family and love of baking grew to become the Butter Braid® brand.

After years of selling our pastries in stores around town, a suggestion to offer Butter Braid® Pastries for a fundraiser inspired us to look at ways we could use this product to “Share the Good” with the community.

Today, Butter Braid® Pastries are available exclusively through fundraisers, so, with each purchase, you’re getting a tasty treat and supporting a loved one. 

Braided by hand, each Butter Braid® Pastry is a symbol of the dedication we have to our family, our love of gathering around the table, and our hope that others will reach their goals.