Megan Heinley has been working on her dessert recipes for years, hoping some day to have the opportunity to turn baking into a profession. That chance came in December, when her friend Jason McGovern opened Denver Deep Dish in lower Highland and wanted to serve local baked goods for dessert to supplement the line of Chicago-style pizzas he first started selling out of a window at the back of Bar Car several years ago. His big, new kitchen gave her the extra space she needed to create her own company, Glo's Bakeshop, which she named after her Italian grandmother.
Heinley is happy to start off small for now, focusing on cakes, cookies, pies and other alcohol-infused baked goods, but her goal is to open her own retail bakery in about a year. The catering side of her business is small enough that she falls under Colorado's fairly new cottage-food act, which allows her to prepare and sell food products from her home kitchen. She's using the kitchen at Denver Deep Dish to bake desserts for McGovern's menu as well, starting with peanut butter cookies and other specials like stout chocolate cupcakes and Stranahan's whiskey cherry pie. "I'm also planning on playing with what's on the rotating taps," she says, "like banana bread with farmhouse ale."
A long-time beer lover, the home baker realized she could sell her products when a friend threw a beer-tasting party for her husband and Heinley provided a batch of sea-salt caramel and stout truffles. They were a big hit and her friends encouraged her to make the leap from amateur to pro. Not long afterward, she found herself without a job when the office where she worked in government contracting closed. "I had the time and creative energy to put into baking," notes Heinley, who also flips houses for additional income.
In addition to beer and liquor, Heinley uses only 100 percent organic ingredients for her baked goods. She also likes to source ingredients from local companies as much as possible: The rum in her drunken turtle cake comes from Dancing Pines Distillery in Loveland and the beer for her cupcakes is Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout. In addition to supplying Denver Deep Dish with delicacies, she's working on creating pastries for other restaurants in town. "There are a lot of restaurants like Denver Deep Dish that don't have desserts," she says. "I'd like to do signature desserts for them."
While a storefront for Glo's is her ultimate goal, her priority now is building a customer base. "I'm picking up more on the catering side," she explains, noting that her repertoire is expanding to include some gluten-free options and baked goods with coconut sugar for customers looking for desserts lower on the glycemic index. "It's more important for me to make sure my recipes are perfect first," she adds.
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For now, you'll have to get your fix of boozy desserts from Glo's Bakeshop at Denver Deep Dish, which opens at 11 a.m. daily.