Around 120 cakes, 200 pounds of buttercream frosting and 5,000 hand-stamped shortbread cookies—that’s the weekly average for Gateaux Bakery, which makes everything from scratch. Owner and pastry chef Kathleen Davia is able to rattle off the numbers because she loves math. “That’s what first made me fall for baking. I love numbers!” she says. There’s still plenty of creativity involved though for Davia and her staff between flavor combinations, shapes and decorating. The March opening of her new location on the northeast corner of Havana and E. 29th Dr. in Stapleton’s Eastbridge neighborhood means a whole new set of numbers and batches of goodies.
The Colorado native worked in hotels in Denver and Vienna, Austria, but always knew she wanted to open her own bakery, which she did, in 1999 at 11th and Speer in the Golden Triangle neighborhood. While she has loved her city location, Davia is looking forward to the sense of community in Stapleton. So is Stapleton resident Camille Hudson, who will become general manager at Stapleton after more than four years at the current spot.
After completing a renovation of her space and logo in January, Davia, who won the Denver Chamber’s “2016 Minority or Women-Owned Business of the Year Award,” felt invigorated to do something else. She wanted to serve coffee at Gateaux and began working with Stapleton Roasters. In the course of doing business there, she began looking around Stapleton and liked what she saw, including all of the families and the opportunity for a long-term location. Gateaux will share a free-standing building east of the Eastbridge King Soopers, with a patio area and parking.
The new Gateaux Bakery will provide a full-service coffee menu plus breakfast items including croissants, sticky buns and muffins. Gateaux’s other popular items will be available throughout the day including cookies, cupcakes, tortes and cakes in the counter daily and by custom order, including vegan and gluten-free options.
Custom orders are a mainstay at Gateaux from items with company logos to wedding cakes and kids’ birthday cakes, a product Davia is especially looking forward to providing in Stapleton. Davia fully understands the importance of a special birthday cake for kids, having made ones in the shape of a bus and a monster truck climbing a hill for her son who is thinking about a dinosaur or Star Wars-themed cake for his sixth birthday this year.
The advent of things like Pinterest and the Food Network has changed things at Gateaux. People bring in pictures of cakes they’ve seen and want Davia and her staff to recreate it, with their own personal spin, which the pastry chefs are glad to do. “We can do anything!” Davia says, showing a picture of a full-size Lombardi Trophy ordered for Denver Broncos Running Back C.J. Anderson’s birthday, three days after the Super Bowl win.
Despite the sacrifices of the business including long hours and working when most people aren’t, Davia says she loves the business as much as she did 20 years ago. “I love the camaraderie and hustle and bustle of the kitchen, the connection with the customers and seeing their faces when you bring out what they’ve ordered,” she says. “I’m excited to have the new energy of Stapleton and to have people happy about me being part of their community. And I’m excited to make crazy, exciting cakes there!”