Kim and Jake’s is as mom and pop as you can get. They’re hustlers, family-owned, small (but thriving and growing), they know people’s names who open the door to their store, and their customers can’t get enough of what they create.
Opened in 2010, they started with a cake shop.
Their high quality, cakes and baked goods were interesting as they infused tasty booze into the fold, like their rum-based dark and stormy cake, a strawberry margarita cake or vindaloo spice cake iced with Thai-curry caramel. But a few years later, deep into flour and baking, Jake learned he had celiacs disease. Imagine the irony of the owner of a gluten-laden bakery that was thriving.
After trying to trudge through baking and still running the bakery, they both realized if they were going to do it right, they would pivot to be entirely gluten-free. Not only would it have improving health implications for Jake and his family, but it would provide resources to an under-served, yet highly in demand community.
One unique stance is that the husband and wife team are determined to still be an incredible bakery, and not be known as a gluten-free bakery, but one that’s just a bakery anyone wants to buy from no matter your taste preference because the quality and taste can be loved by all.
When asked about the transition, Jake said they’ve “only grown.” Although there were a few bumps – there are a few cakes he simply can’t recreate gluten-free but most he can – he also found that he could bake a solid bread. The bread has been the cornerstone of what they’re doing these days, by providing crunchy, crusty, gluten-free bread to local restaurants and out of their store front.
Sharing and eating bread is “part of our daily life” and no matter where you’re from, it’s central to a homes’ table across the globe. You just want that delicious, thick bread that you can dunk into something rich like a risotto, not a store-bought bagged gluten-free slice.
They’ve achieved just that with their delightful baguettes, buns (seeded with chia, millet and poppy seeds, olive oil rosemary and thyme and plain), and even pizza crust that can be found at Pizzeria Locale (in Denver). These are gluten-free and vegan.
While you can pick up the bread in their storefront, they run out it’s so popular. People that have been gluten-free for years, told Jake they’ve shed tears over the delight in his carefully concocted, gluten-free bread that he worked so hard to perfect.
Their work, in this case going gluten-free, perhaps even has more implications and impact than before.
You can also find the likes of cakes, cupcakes, cookies and popcorn in their storefront or ordered custom.
The popcorn they sell, largely for fun, came out of a need for something savory in their “sweet” day-to-day. They make inventive spice blends like their beet powder, truffle salt and fresh thyme popcorn or the sweet and smoked paprika, black truffle salt with ufra chile popcorn with a kick. When I sat with him he did a blend of piri piri and coconut oil, for a kick alongside the sweeter coconut influence.
The work is hard, but their handmade personal touch is evident in everything they do. Now, I go to restaurants around town like The Kitchen or Zeal, and the delicious bread (I didn’t even know was gluten free when I bite into it) is made by them. Their cookies are also found in grocery stores like Alfalfa’s and Whole Foods in the Rocky Mountain region.
Jake acknowledges, that even as they scale and are producing 2000+ cookies in a facility in Broomfield, that he’s right alongside the team taste tasting, ensuring quality control and sweating alongside them. Kim and him are still often doing demos themselves in the grocery stores, to get their product into the hands of many. He prides himself on the “Midwest work ethic” and the impact he can have on fellow gluten-free eaters, by not losing sight of what’s important.
When I ask what they want to be known for and what really is important, Jake paused and then shared assuredly, “We only serve food to you, that we would serve our son.”
I’d say that’s a pretty good way to go about things.
Editorial Note: Featured photo from Kim & Jake’s.