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—Photo courtesy of Brigid McAuliffe

Ask a Baker: Victory Love & Cookies’ Kristy Greenwood

Ask A Chef is an ongoing series in which 5280 poses a single question to a local culinary luminary.

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You could say that cookies are Kristy Greenwood’s calling, but then you might be putting it lightly. Spend a few minutes with Greenwood, and you’ll quickly realize that this woman is seriously passionate about her confections. “If I’m staring off in space at any given time, I’m probably thinking of a new flavor,” she says with a laugh. At her seven-year-old shop Victory Love & Cookies (tucked inside the Denver Bread Company on 32nd Avenue), you’ll find an array of dreamy sweets—like the OMG Lime, a mojito-esque blend of white chocolate, mint, lime, and macadamia nuts—all made with high-quality ingredients like European butter and baked to crispy-on-the-outside-chewy-on-the-inside perfection. How did her delicate cookies end up sharing space with DBC’s rustic bâtardes and focaccias? As it turns out, Greenwood is married to Greg Bortz, who founded the DBC more than two decades ago. Read on to find out how (and why) the couple decided to house their two distinct businesses under one roof.

(Read more stories from our Ask a Chef series)

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5280: Victory Love & Cookies and the Denver Bread Company are run as completely separate businesses, yet they share one cozy space. Why did you decide to house two concepts in one location?

KG: The Denver Bread Company is owned by my husband, and I worked there with him for 10 years as head baker—he taught me to bake. Then, after I was diagnosed with cancer, I was said, OK, I really want to do something a little different, because I don’t want to get up at 3 o’clock in the morning anymore. I wanted something that was a little more sustainable for my own health, and at the same time I wanted to express my culinary thing.

Cookies were always the way that I expressed love to anybody, all the way back to when I was tiny, because that’s the first thing kids typically make. It was my obvious go-to. I’d already been doing some cookies for Greg back when I was a bread baker, it’s just that I would have to sort of sneak them in. He’d be like “this is a bread shop,” and I’d say “but I really want some cookies.”

I did look at putting my business somewhere else, but frankly, Greg and I already had opposite schedules. If I went elsewhere, we’d never have seen each other. It’s always been a family business, so we thought why not use this space for both of us? We can serve our customers in a broader capacity instead of it just being bread. And we’ve always had an open kitchen, so I’ve always known our customers.

I am so spoiled now, I don’t go to work until 9 o’clock. I typically start baking around 1 p.m. By then the ovens are cooling down, so it’s perfect for cookies. It works out. I’d been living with those ovens for 10 years, so I already knew their hot spots and cool spots.

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Callie Sumlin, Associate Food Editor

Callie Sumlin creates stories for 5280's Eat & Drink section, manages the dining guide, and oversees 5280.com's digital food-related coverage and weekly e-newsletter, Table Talk.

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