Last month, Grateful Bread Company founder Jeff Cleary closed up shop because he was down to four employees, when his wholesale bakery normally takes close to twenty bakers to run efficiently and service the many hotel and restaurant accounts he has built up over the years. Grateful Bread's Saturday retail shop, at 429 Violet Street in Golden, had ceased operations earlier in the spring for the same reason. But Cleary has spent the intervening weeks hiring and training a new cadre of bakers and will reopen the retail portion of the business this Saturday, July 14, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
"There are ten of us now," Cleary notes, and he's expecting more reinforcements in the form of skilled, experienced bakers returning who had previously worked at the bakery, plus out-of-town professionals who have made commitments to join the company later this summer.
The baker says that he's also firing up his wholesale business in stages, and made deliveries to the Four Seasons Hotel downtown, Il Posto and other clients today, and is adding back Table 6, Mercantile Dining & Provisions, Fruition and 12@Madison come Monday.
"The only one that's not coming back is [Jennifer] Jasinski," Cleary adds. Jasinski is the chef/co-owner of Rioja — which has been serving a custom-baked lavender sourdough roll to customers for years — as well as Bistro Vendôme, Stoic & Genuine, Ultreia and Euclid Hall. Jasinski's team notes that while Grateful Bread makes a wonderful product, it would have been too logistically difficult to find a replacement baker to fill their needs (including custom breads) for three weeks and then switch back to Cleary's company.
Cleary expects Saturday to be busy at the retail bakery, so if you plan to go, expect to stand in line. Just know that inside, nobody's loafing around.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.