Selina Jimenez says that Revolution Bakeshop grew from “pennies and fumes,” from a long road of practicing recipes over and over, and from a desire to learn every step of the way. “I ruined a lot, burned a lot and baked a lot,” she continues, but as she learned, the business grew from a commissary to a private kitchen to the 869-square-foot space she has used until now.
Later this month, the wholesaler will expand to not only double its kitchen size, but to open a new retail location called the Lucky Break Bakeshop, at 6880 South Dallas Way in Greenwood Village. Revolution Bakeshop has provided wholesale pastries for small cafes and coffee shops along the Front Range for the past five years, and while Jimenez will continue with that side of the business, the new retail storefront will give the baked goods their own starring role while allowing Jimenez and her team to experiment, increase variety and continue to build their expertise.
The Lucky Break Bakeshop will serve different baked goods in the morning and afternoon. Breakfast will be filled with croissants, cinnamon rolls, scones and muffins. There will also be croissant sandwiches, savory pop tarts and coffee made with beans from local roaster MORU. In the afternoon, the cases will transition to cookies, brownies, diner cake slices, cheesecakes, tarts and bread puddings. And there will be gluten-free and vegan options, as well.
Most pastries will run in the $4 to $5 range; Jimenez says she wants to keep pricing affordable and wants the shop atmosphere to be approachable in every way. It’s not meant to be “too cool for school, [or] so expensive that people can’t go in and buy what they’d like," she explains.
Her consideration of price comes from a place of empathy. Jimenez started baking after being laid off from a corporate job. “I went to my local library, and I checked out every book in the baking section, taking notes and bumming a lot of ingredients off my parents because I was unemployed and absolutely broke,” she recalls.
When she did start working again, she began to test her pastries on co-workers, and soon she and her partner began selling their goods at weekend events. Eventually, they were invited to work in a small private kitchen, and in exchange for the space, they helped run the kitchen’s wholesale program in addition to their own business. They’d bake all night and load their cars at dawn for delivery. “I was really tired during those years,” Jimenez says, but gradually, they were able to save up enough money to open their own kitchen.
As a wholesaler, Revolution began selling products to small cafes and coffee roasters. Jimenez says she likes working with those businesses because she's found that their focus on craftsmanship extends beyond beans and beverages; they also appreciate quality pastries.
Over the years, the bakery was able to build its customer base, and by March 2020, Revolution Bakeshop was doing its best business ever. There were even initial plans for the current expansion — until everything ground to a halt because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over one weekend, Revolution's customer base shrank from more than 25 accounts accounts to only four, and Jimenez was forced to furlough her small staff.
However, a month later, she received a Paycheck Protection Program loan and quickly rehired her team. But without much business, there was little to do. So Jimenez improvised. “I brought them in every day, and we learned together as a staff. I taught them how to make candy and bread — the sorts of things we don’t do in wholesale,” she explains. “During the day, we would learn, and I would teach, and slowly but surely, my customers started coming back one at a time.”
Those months turned into an exciting period of practice and growth. The staff learned to make specialties such as maple cinnamon cashew brittle and dark-chocolate coffee caramels (which will be available during the holidays). One of her prep bakers discovered a talent for baking bread and moved into the shop’s bread section. Two other employees discovered a love for decorating, creating syrups, sauces and frostings. Now they’re Lucky Break retail bakers. “It’s wonderful to have that environment where they feel like they can always approach me to move over into [another] section, and we can put our most talented players where they shine," Jimenez says.
“My staff...will always be the heart of the operation,” she continues. “I’m very, very proud of everything they learn, everything they try, everything they fail at.”
Now the company is getting ready to learn the ropes of retail business, and they're excited for the chance to make the Lucky Break brand stand on its own. The plan is to be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Sunday through Friday, possibly as soon as November 8. Visit Revolution's Facebook page for progress reports.
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