The Santa Fe Cookie Company has been an oasis of sweet relief downtown for 32 years, first under founder Deborah Kuehn, known to her customers as the Cookie Lady, and then under Kuehn's niece, Alexis McLean, who reopened the honor-system bakery after her aunt passed away last year. McLean is an artist as well as a baker, so she's expanded the business to the Golden Triangle Creative District with a new art gallery and cookie shop called Black Crow Gallery, which opened at 144 West 12th Avenue last month.
The Republic Plaza bakery, at 303 16th Street, is still the primary outlet for confections, with wide variety of cookies and other baked goods McLean makes every weekday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. But for those in need of an afternoon fix, Black Crow sells cookies from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, with additional hours from 6 to 9 p.m. during Final Fridays. Just look for the Santa Fe Cookie Company logo in the window; it's an original, hand-painted sign, so it's appropriate that it now graces an art gallery.
In addition to cookies, Black Crow will display McLean's own creations and the work of other artists (catch the opening of “The Red Shoes: My Invisible Companion,” an exhibit by photographer Gunnar Conrad, from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 13). The gallery also sells products from local artisans Clearwater Farms Soap, Little Flower Hemp Company, A Touch of Cardamom and Fine Art Notecards.
McLean's aunt began selling cookies in 1986 on the Auraria campus before moving downtown to a space behind what was then Duffy's Shamrock at 16th and Court streets, and eventually to the Republic Plaza spot in 2008. The bakery closed in June 2017 after Keuhn's death; McLean reopened the Santa Fe Cookie Company in October 2017, adding some of her own recipes and Kaladi coffee to the mix. You can now find more than ten original cookie flavors, plus gluten-free options and daily specials in the form of cupcakes, brownies, coffee cake and scones.
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.