Just as though you were eagerly anticipating a tray of freshly basked treats to emerge from the oven, warm and perfectly prepared, so too has Jay Thomas been patiently awaiting the opening of The Rolling Pin, his new Five Points cafe at 2716 Welton Street.
Though the official opening of the new bakery comes Tuesday morning, Thomas and his partner in business, life and love, Michael Martinez couldn't help but enjoy some of the overflow fandom that accompanied Rosenberg's Bagels' joyous reopening this past Sunday, following a five-month closure. Despite a limited menu, The Rolling Pin's soft opening was a success, as the 12-seat bakery was sold out of stock by noon.
With more than 35 years of practice, starting with cake-baking and decorating alongside his mother, who worked for Keebler, Thomas, an Aurora native, fantasized about someday owning his own shop. He worked at Albertson's and Costco in the bakery departments before waking up at 40 years old and deciding to pursue a culinary-focused degree at Johnson & Wales University in Denver. He proceeded to teach at the school for three years before taking pastry chef positions at venues such as The Brown Palace, The Inverness Hotel and Conference Center, Grand Hyatt and others.
Thomas and Martinez, who live just four blocks away from The Rolling Pin, have lengthy local histories, with Martinez' neighborhood roots dating back to the 1920s. Pointing to Rosenberg's as a source of rejuvenation for the Five Points area, Thomas has been baking their pastries nearly the entire two-year lifespan of the popular delicatessen. Now, he will continue to provide baked goods to his neighbor and with the opening of The Rolling Pin, the two establishments will share walk-in coolers and kitchen access.
Combining East Coast and European inspiration to guide the flavor of the menu and design of the space, originally built in 1894, the new bakery has high tin ceilings balanced with school-house light fixtures and tiled floors. French bistro tables and wooden chairs as well as a pew from the nearby Methodist church allow a small group a variety of seating options. Thomas says he strives to appeal to a diverse base in the area.
The menu will concentrate on croissants, ranging from chocolate to Tender Belly ham and cheese, and almond. Danishes and mountain morning buns, what Thomas describes as a cinnamon roll made from croissant dough, will also grace the menu, as well as freshly baked breads, eclairs, cream puffs, and big round cakes, which patrons can enjoy by the slice while sipping on a cup of Commonwealth coffee.
Though Thomas will arrive at the shop most mornings 'round 2 a.m., or "baker's hours," The Rolling Pin will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 6 a.m. through 3 p.m. to start, with ambitions for later hours and a more extended menu in the future.