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If you self-medicated with copious amounts of sugar, butter, and flour over the past year, you weren’t alone. The number of new bakeries that popped up during the pandemic is staggering—and long overdue, because finding a killer croissant, cookie, and sticky bun shouldn’t be that hard. From a slew of Cottage Food operations making it big to a high-profile Texas bakery debuting in Colorado, here are eight delicious ways to get your fix.
After years of eating disappointing cakes on special occasions, Angela Wells decided to make her own vegan birthday cake. “I just wanted a cake that tastes good,” she says. When Wells shared her version with friends and family, they loved it and started asking her to make vegan cakes for them. Realizing she could use her cake-making superpower to earn some extra money and win over even non-vegan fans, she launched an Instagram page for Angie’s Vegan Cakes in early 2020. It took off, with her specialty strawberry crunch cake—a two-layer masterpiece with strawberries mixed into the batter and coated with buttercream frosting, crushed golden Oreos, and freeze-dried strawberries—earning rave reviews.
How to get the goods: Place a custom cake order by calling or texting 720-837-9703, or messaging the Instagram page. Pickup in Green Valley Ranch or delivery within 20 miles.
Wife-and-husband team Carolyn Nugent and Alen Ramos started selling their apple fritters, savory scones, stuffed Berliner doughnuts, and sticky buns out of their townhouse kitchen window on Ulster Street last September. But after a less-than-approving letter from their HOA, the couple moved the Saturday pickup location for their in-demand Ulster Street Pastry goods to Annette. The couple, who’ve worked together in Michelin-starred restaurants all over the world, make everything by hand from that same now-HOA-abiding home kitchen.
How to get the goods: Order online (Sunday at 10 a.m. gets you the best shot) and pickup at Annette on Saturdays. Come summer, they’ll have a storefront in Parker, which means expanded hours—and a larger menu.
In 2020, single mom Ava Truckey started over with a new apartment, new outlook, and new business, her scrumptious Butter Moon Bake Co. The longtime home baker was famous in her circle for hand pies, scones, and, especially, her buttermilk biscuits, so last November she decided to test the waters by selling her goods at a bake sale outside her house. She sold out within two hours. Now, she can’t make the biscuits, pies, and scones—in flavors like salted banana bread, cacio e pepe, Dunkaroos, and jalapeño cheddar—fast enough for her pastry-clamoring fans.
How to get the goods: Order online for pickup Saturdays at Spindle Kitchen from 9–10 a.m., or for delivery (15-mile radius; check online for zip codes), and at the City Park Farmers Market (launching May 15).
After 18 years working in other people’s kitchens, Matt Dulin decided it was time to start working out of his own—and Denverites are so happy that he did. The crusty sourdough loaves and beautifully flaky croissants go fast, but don’t sleep on GetRight’s fruit galettes and canelés. “The pandemic showed us all how fragile life is, and it didn’t make sense not to spend every moment from then on doing exactly what I wanted to do and no longer living out someone else’s vision,” Dulin says.
How to get the goods: Order online for Wednesday and Thursday pickup or delivery (free delivery within 12 miles of the zip code 80219).
Self-taught home cook Andrea Cox’s baking canvas of choice is the humble pop-tart. She elevates the childhood breakfast favorite for Tart and Soul Bakery, the pandemic baking project based in her Highlands Ranch home that took off when friends and family couldn’t get enough of her creative tarts featuring scratch-made crusts, fillings, and frostings. Cox’s favorite flavors are cherry almond, pecan maple bourbon, and her riff on the classic brown sugar cinnamon, but she’s dreamed up dozens of cool flavor combos like piña colada and Fluffernutter.
How to get the goods: Place your order on Tart and Soul’s website; shipping to Colorado addresses only.
The popular Texas sweet shop has brought its cupcakes, cookies, and pies to Greenwood Village. Helmed by bakery founder, entrepreneur, and TV host Elizabeth Chambers—who grew up in Denver—Bird opened in March and has been flying through its treats, especially the Monster Cookie made with oats, peanut butter, chocolate chips, and M&Ms. “Denver is loving our cookies and bars,” Chambers says. Besides desserts, Bird also serves breakfast and lunch. Even better: All remaining treats at the end of the day are donated to local nonprofits and philanthropies.
How to get the goods: Visit the cute shop at 8000 E. Belleview Avenue, Greenwood Village.
Denver restaurant vets Kate Lange and Zoe Deutsch started dreaming up their locally sourced microbakery on January 1, 2020, more as a distant goal to be realized sometime in the future. But when the duo was furloughed in March, the plan got fast-tracked, and Moon Raccoon Baking Company was born. Cookie and sticky bun aficionados can’t get enough, and they recently moved to a commissary kitchen and plugged in their sheeter, which means croissants, danishes, and kouign-amann for all!
How to get the goods: Besides hitting the Denver Friday Night Bazaar, Sloan’s Lake Saturday Night Bazaar, and Golden Triangle Farmers Market over the summer, you can order online for pickup or delivery on Fridays.
Wanting to make more exciting cookies than the standards we’re used to, Zack Weiss, Brett Asbury, and Doug Mowery started Gnarly Mountain Cookies in October. “I wanted to get away from different forms of sugar and concentrate on other flavors, like green tea, pumpkin, coffee, and more,” Weiss says. The soft cookie menu changes seasonally, with the current roster featuring carrot cake, strawberry mint julep, and coffee carbomb, but we hear that Colorado produce will be starring in the summer lineup, including Palisade peaches with vanilla chip cookie and a sweet corn variety beginning in May.
How to get the goods: Order online for shipping or pickup from their DTC commissary. You can also find them at Denver Pizza Co., Mondo Market inside Stanley Marketplace, the Local, and other spots around town.
Cookie Bonus: If you’re headed up north, Poeme Macarons just opened its first retail shop in Fort Collins at 2842 Council Tree Avenue. Since the March grand opening, it’s been selling out quick, so get there early for the best selection. RoseBud Ice Cream, known for its CBD-packed pints, added cookies to its offerings. The oversize sea salt chocolate chip is loaded with 25 mg of CBD (and, of course, chocolate chunks). Order online and save 25 percent with code “5280” checkout.