Pastry chef Jay Thomas and partner Michael Martinez unlocked the front door to their new bakery, the Rolling Pin Bakeshop, earlier this week for a soft opening that coincided with the reopening of Rosenberg's Bagels & Delicatessen. Martinez describes the Rolling Pin as New-York-meets-Denver and says that the style is "a European bakery with a French focus."
Thomas and Martinez initially announced their plans to open a bakery in Five Points in the spring of 2015, and said they hoped to have the place open in early 2016. As with many other new eateries in Denver, city permitting delays pushed their plans out by several months. But now the Rolling Pin is open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day but Monday; the bakery will hold a grand-opening celebration on Tuesday, October 25.
Since the two owners consider this week a soft opening, they're running with a limited menu until next week. The shop currently offers several types of bread by the loaf, croissants (some filled with chocolate, almond paste, apricot and almonds or ham and cheese), breakfast pastries and a variety of decadent French dessert pastries; coffee and espresso drinks are also available.
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Martinez says they hope to soon add quiche, soup and salads so that neighbors can stay for lunch.
Thomas has plenty of professional baking experience (as the array of croissants, baguettes, eclairs and other sweets that line the shelves of the pastry case attest): He's a graduate of Johnson & Wales University and has also taught classes there. He's held pastry positions at the Brown Palace and the Inverness Hotel, and was at Rosenberg's when Josh Pollack opened the deli in 2014; he worked there until a fire in the apartment upstairs closed the place in May.
But he and Martinez continued to stay in touch with Pollack, who helped the partners hone their business skills to get them ready to open their own shop. "Josh is our mentor; he's helped us build our dream," Martinez says.
Martinez already knew the area where they opened the bakery. "My family has been in this neighborhood since the 1920s," he notes. He went to elementary school in Five Points, and he and Thomas now live just a few blocks from where they work.
Even while they focus their efforts on the Rolling Pin, Thomas will continue to bake rugelach, hamentaschen, black-and-white cookies and other pastries for Rosenberg's right next door.