Anne and Aaron Badolato were ready for a lifestyle change after they had a baby and moved from Denver to Glenwood Springs last year. But they weren’t quite ready to give up some of the creature comforts of urban living, namely fresh doughnuts and bagels.
“So we found a space to do it ourselves,” Aaron Badolato said Wednesday as he prepared for opening day today at the couple’s new Sweet Coloradough Exquisite Eatery and Drinkery on South Glen Avenue.
In fact, the whole idea behind the new full-service donut and bagel shop, bakery, coffee and tea bar and soon-to-open deli and alcohol bar, complete with a free pool table and even some nightlife, is an attempt to meet the casual, active lifestyle that a lot of young families might enjoy.
“We moved up here to slow our lives down a little bit after our daughter [17-month-old Lilli] was born,” Badolato said. “But in doing that we also couldn’t find some of the things we were accustomed to.”
In talking to some of the locals, they also learned that Glenwood Springs had been without a fresh-baked donut shop since Daylight Donuts closed about 15 years ago.
Taking that as his cue, Badolato decided to give up a career in financial planning, and he and Anne started working to lease and renovate the long-vacant former restaurant space at 2430 S. Glen for their dream bakery.
“I was tired of going after people [for business], and wanted to do something where people would come to me,” he said.
And what’s more of an attraction on the drive into work or for a mid-morning coffee break than a donut or a fresh bagel with some cream cheese?
“We’re a full-service bakery, specializing in the fine art of donut-making,” Badolato said, adding there will be 140 different types of doughnuts, along with pastries, cupcakes, custom cakes and a different assortment of fresh breads each day.
Sure, one can find grocery store doughnuts just about anywhere. But there’s something to be said for a fresh-made donut, whether it’s raised and glazed, cake with frosting, a custard-filled long john or an apple fritter.
“Doughnuts have about a 72-hour shelf life after they’re made, so the fresher the better,” Badolato says.
That same philosophy extends to other baked goods, the coffee, bar offerings and even the art on the wall, which is for the most part local, he said.
The new donut shop features locally roasted Bonfire Coffee, and in turn Coloradough doughnuts will be found in Carbondale’s Bonfire Coffee Shop and at The Village Smithy.
What helped make Coloradough more than a donut and bagel shop was the addition of husband-and-wife baking team Kendra and Cody Hegland.
Head baker Kendra Hegland brings a culinary degree from the Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Scottsdale, Ariz., and an affinity for making cupcakes and custom cakes, including wedding cakes.
“I’ve been baking my entire life, and have been doing custom cakes for 15 years, so it’s something I’m passionate about,” she said.
A side track into art school ended up benefitting her chosen profession.
“My sculpture background really comes in handy with the cakes,” she said.
Husband Cody, who had “trained” with Kendra in the kitchen at home, gave up his welding career so he could also join the six-person baking team at Coloradough.
They almost left the area, before Kendra’s mom, who works next door at Roaring Fork Furniture, found out that a bakery was going in and introduced her to the Badolatos.
Also assisting in the kitchen at Coloradough is Colleen Graeser, who trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Pittsburgh.
Aaron’s brother, Brian Badolato, heads up the bar, which will kick into full gear once the liquor license is approved, which is anticipated on June 1. That’s also when the deli, featuring a variety of meats and sandwiches, as well as the upstairs area and deck are scheduled to open.
“We plan to have live music on the deck, and the pool table will be free,” Aaron Badolato said. “The upstairs is also a great place for private parties and wedding cake tastings.”
The upstairs will seat 25, while the downstairs features a coffee shop style arrangement of comfy chairs and a couch in front of the old gas fireplace.
There’s also a walk-up window, “to help expedite people in and out,” Badolato said.
Hours will be 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. to start, although evening and nighttime hours may be added soon, he said. Through May, customers will also receive one free donut per day.