Rest easy, dessert-loving vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians and allergy-ridden patrons of Denver. Your sweet tooth cravings can be satisfied with tasty, all-vegan treats made by the recently opened Make, Believe Bakery located in Capitol Hill.
Bakery manager Randa Duffy recently celebrated her one year anniversary creating desserts for City O’ City. “This was the goal (opening Make, Believe) so now it’s kind of just saying, now what can we do? There’s so many opportunities,” Duffy responded when asked what her hope for the future is. Now all that’s left is to continue creating and experimenting with local, fresh ingredients and to build this bakery beyond its daily offerings and custom orders into a shop that caters morning business meetings, weddings and various other larger scale events.
The bakery currently has a staff of eight — three of whom are newer additions — and hopes to expand to a team of 10 people in the future. Duffy originally went to school for environmental science and policy with intentions of obtaining a degree in law, but she quickly realized that her passion seemed more focused on baking for her study groups as opposed to actual studying. She dropped out of law school and began baking full time with various jobs and side businesses along the way. She began with City O’ City in the kitchen and eventually took over their bakery, inheriting many of the original recipes dating back to the earliest days of Watercourse Foods (under new ownership and originally where City O’ City now stands).
Before joining the City O’ City team in their kitchen — and eventually taking over the bakery department — over three years ago, Duffy worked with the Beet Box bakery where she learned and cultivated her craft into her own. She expressed that her love of pies — particularly the key lime pie and cheesecake at Make, Believe — didn’t come into fruition until she became a vegan herself and began her venture in the world of vegan baking.
Daily offerings at Make, Believe include favorites such as their Hoho cupcakes — moist vegan chocolate cake generously filled with vanilla cream and dipped in a dark chocolate ganache — and Scout Cookies — a vegan take on the classic Samoa cookie made with walnuts, sweet potato, coconut and rich chocolate. Like most, you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised by how rich and moist each cake, cookie and treat is. From the average pastry lover, it feels almost unbelievable how far vegan baking has come in just a few years. After enjoying an hour with the cheerful staff of Make, Believe, I can only imagine what the future will bring to their kitchen and our happy stomachs.
214 East 13th Avenue, Denver; 303-318-9843; www.makebelievebakery.com