Picture this — you walk through the doors of a brightly lit room and are greeted by towering leafy plants that line the walls. The sun glimmers through its many windows, cascading down each sprout. You continue through the shop to find a quaint bakery in the corner, decorated in shades of emerald green and baby pink. Here lies The Botanical Bakery of Denver, a pastry and coffee shop that combines the bliss botanicals bring and the creation of baked goods.
Dylah Ray became entranced by baking at an early age. Her earliest childhood memories consist of playing around with different recipes, patiently awaiting a taste of her final product. “It’s something that is really calming and an overall meditative experience for me,” Ray described. After graduating from the University of Denver in 2010, Ray moved around a little bit — testing out other states like New York and California. She participated in the corporate world for a while, including periods at Google, United Nations and various political campaigns. Throughout all her careers and opposing life trajectories, her love of baking remained consistent. When the pandemic consumed all, Ray found herself leaning deeper into her passions. “During that time, my two main relaxations were baking and gardening. There’s something about a shortbread lavender cookie that allows others to take a pause within their day and enjoy something that smells, looks and tastes delicious. It can just bring them a bit of joy and peace. That comfort was really needed for me personally as well,” she remembered.
Dylah began searching for a way to escalate this joy by sharing her goods on a broader scale. In a seemingly too-good-to-be-true manner, her best friend and owner of Birdsall & Co., Morgan Huston, set up the perfect opportunity for Ray. The plant shop needed a café and The Botanical Bakery of Denver was the perfect complement. This location also stabilized Ray’s want to create a community. “My love of baking is not necessarily in the element of baking itself, but within the community that it can generate and produce. Pie is something that is never necessary, but it’s so enjoyable with community and friends and family. I think that people really need that and appreciate that,” Dylah expressed.
It’s hard not to notice the beauty encapsulated within Ray’s pastries. Each one is intentionally decorated with florals in a way that balances the flavor profiles found within. Delicately pressed petals are embedded within her Pansy cookies, bringing some much-needed color to the simple yet delicious shortbread. Her mini-pies change flavor based on the season but are always finished with a sprinkle of bright flowers. Denver Botanical Bakery’s spread does not stop there — Linzer and lavender cookies, savory galettes, scones and infused breads can be found displayed in its gorgeous window. The bakery is finished with an espresso machine, the perfect pastry partner. Think lavender or hibiscus lattes paired with your choice of decorated sweet treat.
Food and drink are just the beginning of its soothing ambiance. Ray’s shop is decorated in a way that also initiates joy. The colors of emerald green and pale pink evoke relaxation, cemented by its cozy seating area and simple bookshop. The site is also home to various products from mostly women-owned and local businesses. Goods including botanical-themed jewelry, honey, jam, candles and bitters are for sale among the many inspiring plant arrangements. Ray also hosts different events like flower pressing workshops, open-mic poetry, pie nights and Friendsgiving, illustrating that she never fails to uplift her community.
Although the Botanical Bakery of Denver has only been open for two months, Dylah is excited to continue growing her community and experimenting with flavors and florals. She now has many to share her passion with, and Denver has somewhere to unwind with a pastry cooked with love.
The Botanical Bakery of Denver is located in Birdsall & Co plant shop at 2880 S Broadway, Englewood. It is open Tuesday through Sunday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. and closed on Mondays. Visit its website to see the full lineup of future events.
Updated on November 15 to clarify the headline and journalistic intention.