In Denver, there is no shortage of quality bakeries. There are German bakeries, South American bakeries, Vegan bakeries, Gluten-free bakeries, international bakeries and many family-owned bakeries so it takes a lot for a bakery to stand out among the crowd. Newly-opened Bug & Belle Bakery brings nostalgia, warmth and delicious scratch-made pastries, cookies and other baked goods to the Highlands neighborhood. “I wanted it to feel like you were walking into your grandma’s house,” stated owner Erin Emerson. You get that feeling from the wallpaper, antique furniture, thrift-store coffee mugs, alphabet magnet menu and help-yourself coffee station as well as the friendly greeting from Emerson herself as you walk in.
Emerson grew up baking but really dove into it after her children were born as a way to relieve stress. “At the end of the day I would never have dinner ready but there would always be a chocolate cake on the counter,” she joked. She is an acupuncturist by trade but always knew that she wanted to open up her own bakery and was finally able to do that this summer. She purchased a small house in her neighborhood on 32nd avenue, converted it into a bakery and named it after her two daughters – Neela, nicknamed Bug and Olive, who’s middle name is Belle. The space is small but it’s incredible how many delicious items come out of the compact kitchen.
Emerson’s goal with the bakery is to be cozy, warm and not trendy and she bakes items that you would likely find in your grandmother’s kitchen. Cookies, savory rolls, cakes, gluten-free quiches, muffins, hand pies and Grandma’s monster cookies grace the case daily. In addition to these treats, special items like cinnamon rolls are only available on Saturdays and can sell out as early as 8 a.m. Bug & Belle even serves a special roast of Copper Door coffee that was created exclusively for the bakery and pairs well with all of the bakery’s items. The smell of pastries baking, warm coffee brewing and welcoming energy all create a “hygge” feeling – the Danish concept of “cozy contentment” – we all yearn for in our favorite hangouts.
In a city filled with specialty bakeries, Bug & Belle stands out as a reliable, cozy shop where you can enjoy a warm-hearted welcome. It truly feels like stepping into your grandma’s kitchen – which may even make the treats taste better.
Bug & Belle Bakery is located at 3712 W 32nd Ave, Denver. Open Wednesday – Sunday 6 a.m.- 2 p.m.