Smell That Bread Bakery in Steamboat Springs, Colorado recently expanded to add new retail space along with a breakfast and lunch café to meet growing customer demand. Smell That Bread Bakery opened in April 2014 as a wholesale bakery, selling its products to local restaurants according to Juli Gordon, co-owner of the bakery with her husband, Sam Gordon. She said it was not until July 2015 that Smell That Bread offered its products to retail customers. They initially sold their retail products through a small yellow side Dutch door which became their trademark, said Juli Gordon.
“We wanted to be wholesale only, but the public basically demanded that we do it which was awesome. They wanted our bread they were getting at the restaurants, so we eventually came up with a store idea and that sort of became our trademark, but then we were putting so much product out of the door that we had to do this expansion and remodel,” said Juli.
The Gordons admit they were unsure about adding retail to their business, but as they have made the transition, both acknowledge it has been a positive experience.
“We fought the retail. We really did to be honest. It was not what we pictured. But now it is the best thing we are doing,” said Juli.
The Gordons said that starting out as a wholesaler gave them the opportunity to learn the business, build their baking skill sets, and create a following of customers who ate their bread at local restaurants.
“We learned a lot over the two years. It sort of gave us that slow organic growth to learn what we were doing wrong, learn how to produce those numbers, chefs were happy, and then the public wanted it. Once we made the chefs happy, I feel like everything fell after that but I really do believe that if we had not started that way, we would not be here today,” said Sam.
Sam said as they have grown, they have learned more about what they want to offer. The natural progression of their retail has expanded into a pastry line as well gourmet toasts and traditional French sandwiches; both meant to highlight their bread. The bakery’s offerings are reflective of their education at the San Francisco Baking Institute, a renown Artisan Bread and Pastry culinary school, said Juli.
The Gordons start their days 3 a.m. and end around 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. They said 12-hour days or longer are standard for them as they get the new space up and running. Sam said their schedules should smooth out as the summer season progresses.
“We love what we do so it’s not hard to get out of bed in the morning and stay here 16 hours a day,” said Sam.