In the heart of Denver’s Five Points neighborhood resides one of Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in the United States. The Rolling Pin Bakeshop, self-described as “New York meets Denver,” was one of a handful of bakeries to make the esteemed list, which was based on Yelp ratings and reviews from customers.
“That was based on your customers’ feedback, so we were truly humbled,” says co-owner Michael Martinez.
The accolade is a testament to the hard work of Martinez and partner/pastry chef Jay Thomas, who put as much effort into the atmosphere as they do with their exquisite pastry selection. Located in a neighborhood often referred to as “the Harlem of the West,” The Rolling Pin Bakeshop feels like an old New York bakery.
The Rolling Pin Bakeshop was opened in 2016, and in a few short years has made its mark on the city. Martinez grew up in Five Points and his family had lived there since the 1920s, so when he moved back in 2010 he wanted to open a bakery that would help the area to grow.
Atmosphere plays an important role in the bakery’s success. The owners have created a true neighborhood feel within the building, greeting customers warmly by name and remembering their previous orders. That’s no act; Martinez and Thomas are proud of their neighborhood and want to be a part of its revitalization.
Another key draw is the pastry and dessert selection, which has a European-French focus. Thomas, who was trained at Johnson & Wales University and the French Pastry School of Chicago, created a bakery case full of sweet and savory favorites for customers. Some of the more popular items include croissants, morning buns, tarts, and opera cake.
The bakery’s inclusion on Yelp’s list has helped give it boost during a more stagnant period. “Normally January and February are our slow months. We’re actually busier right now than any of our busy months last year,” says Thomas.
“I can’t believe how wonderful it was, because we prepared for a struggle in January and February and we were pleasantly surprised,” adds Martinez.
The Rolling Pin Bakeshop lets word-of-mouth take care of much of its customer acquisition and retention. Visitors come in from all over the country (and even Canada) to check out this little bakery with top-quality ingredients. Every item is made from scratch. They don’t take the easy way out, and that has paid off in the long run.