GLENWOOD SPRINGS — The Christmas season was always a special time for Emily Massau, who has fond memories of many hours in the kitchen baking holiday goodies with her family.
“We would make baskets for everyone, it was definitely a tradition in our family,” Massau said of her childhood growing up in Georgia.
Those holiday kitchen parties were also when she discovered her gift for baking, which Massau, now 23 and living in New Castle with her husband Robin Massau, continued to hone and perfect without formal training.
“I like to joke that I went to the YouTube school of cooking,” Massau said, referring to the popular social media website where people can post videos of themselves doing everything from the silly to the serious, including lots of “how-to” stuff.
Earlier this fall, Massau decided to take a chance and realize her dream of owning her own bakery.
She officially opened Sugar Rush Baking Co. on Oct. 8 in the Roaring Fork Marketplace, in the small space formerly occupied by Little Caesar’s Pizza.
“I saw a need here in Glenwood Springs for a good bakery, and just decided to go for it,” Massau said.
Except for the various local bakeries that are attached to restaurants and grocery stores, hers is now the only stand-alone bakery after the Roaring Fork Bakery in Glenwood Meadows closed earlier this year.
Robin Massau, whom Emily met playing video games over the Internet before she came out to meet him in 2008, designed and built the interior of the store. He also came up with the “We Loaf Baking” motto for the business.
“It took me a while to figure out how to bake at altitude,” Emily Massau said. “I started with chocolates and cheesecakes and worked up from there.”
She now specializes in custom cakes to order, even taking on the occasional “challenge,” such as a recent Kahlua cheesecake.
“If somebody has something special that they remember from their childhood, just come tell me, I love those sorts of things,” Massau said. “I just enjoy making people happy, especially with those nostalgic things that they haven’t been able to find anywhere else.”
Other Sugar Rush specialities include a variety of rolls, pies, cookies, cupcakes, and cinnamon rolls.
“A lot of people really like our cinnamon rolls,” Massau said.
One item she doesn’t bake, however, are donuts, she said, quickly adding that she will make Danish pastries, éclairs and other “alternatives.”
Massau also makes everything from scratch, and avoids box mixes.
“There’s something to be said about a good, hardy, made-from-scratch cake,” she said.
The business name, Sugar Rush, “just had a nice ring to it,” Massau said.
But that shouldn’t scare off anyone who is looking for a sugar-free, gluten-free, lactose-free or vegan rush, as she is able to cater to the diet-conscious consumer as well.
Massau eventually would like to offer those types of items to the Whole Foods store in Basalt. For now, she works with several Glenwood Springs businesses, including the Glenwood Canyon Brew Pub and the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue dinner theater to provide baked goods and desserts.
Helping Massau out in the kitchen at Sugar Rush is her good friend Karla Auldridge. Massau said she hopes to grow her new business even more after the first of the year, and would like to hire some more help in the coming months.
The Sugar Rush Bakery can be found at 3110 Blake Ave., in the Roaring Fork Marketplace, online at www.sugarrushcolorado.com, or by phone at (970) 230-9670.