September 26, 2023


Be Inspired By Food

Banh & Butter Bakery Cafe Opens on East Colfax Avenue

For years, pastry chef Thoa Nguyen dreamed of working her possess Parisian-model, Asian-fusion bakery in Colorado. It just took a loved ones company, a couple of yrs and the excellent spot to finally deliver Banh & Butter Bakery Cafe to fruition at 9935 East Colfax Avenue.

“It was like a full five-yr program,” claims Nguyen. “I remaining the spouse and children organization, labored at Complete Food items to understand the company facet, went to the Escoffier University of Culinary Arts and worked as a pasty instructor. All this gave me time to operate on the enterprise system.”

The 1st time Nguyen truly embraced French pastry artwork was in 2010, when she left Denver for France in buy to go to university. She fell in adore with the sensitive layers of pastry, flaky croissants and legendary baguettes. She knew then that of all the food items to make, it was French pastry that held her coronary heart.

She also understood she wanted to provide these expertise back again household. Even though she was overseas, her mother and father, who used to personal New Saigon Vietnamese restaurant, started out to build out New Saigon Bakery with the thought that their daughter would acquire about when she returned house and have her dream bakery. But it did not convert out that way.

click to enlarge The pastry counter at Banh & Butter Bakery. - LINNEA COVINGTON

The pastry counter at Banh & Butter Bakery.

Linnea Covington

“My mom permit me generate a menu and choose treatment of my French pastry and the cake facet, and she took care of the banh mi,” suggests Nguyen of New Saigon Bakery. “But due to the fact of the name the banh mi experienced, there was practically nothing we built that I could genuinely deliver my French working experience to.”

She did make a splash with her picture-perfect crepe cakes, their delicate levels towering up to make sweet rainbows and chocolate masterpieces. But though Nguyen enjoys crepe cakes, it turned the only factor she was carrying out at New Saigon. Anyone preferred just one, and due to the fact she was alone on the bakery side, there wasn’t any time remaining for these flaky, buttery pastries and laminated doughs she longed to make.

“New Saigon was a family eyesight, not my eyesight, and my mom and dad realized I had designs and I was seeking for my individual house,” notes Nguyen, who identified it tough to depart the enterprise her mom and dad designed for her but knew she needed her personal undertaking. “I could not put in my French capabilities, due to the fact it really is far more about Vietnamese baking.”

With Banh & Butter, she preferred to use the French strategies she uncovered although incorporating a little bit of her own society into the blend. Which is why friends can get a slice of her signature crepe cake as properly as an ube-mochi cupcake and a excellent almond croissant together with a matcha-infused cruffin, which is a cross concerning a muffin and a croissant. The spot also serves banh mi together with basic Parisian-design and style ham and butter sandwiches. Nguyen utilizes the similar bread recipe as New Saigon does, but with a slight hydration tweak so that the baguettes arrive out much more like the kinds in France in its place of the big, flaky, hoagie-like rolls at her parents’s spot. The two are tasty, but exceptional to just about every place.

“I keep in mind strolling in Lyon [France], and just about every bakery had a baguette sandwich that you get on the go and take in,” recalls Nguyen. “That is why I wished that sandwich encounter listed here.”

simply click to enlarge Banh & Butter Bakery opened on Colfax in early April. - LINNEA COVINGTON

Banh & Butter Bakery opened on Colfax in early April.

Linnea Covington

Nguyen located her dream bakery in the former Third Lifestyle room on East Colfax future to Baba & Pop’s Pierogi. The space has gradually been reworking into an arts district, some thing that both of those enticed her and served her choose what variety of vibe she wished. The idea, she states, is to construct a neighborhood all over the cafe and aid artists like herself. Just after all, she adds, a pastry chef is an artist, way too.

Within, among the conditions laden with artfully crafted pastries in hues of purple, pink, brown, environmentally friendly and tan, artwork by local creators lines the partitions. In one particular corner, shelves of beautiful plants curated by Living Decor Retailer acquire up home, together with pots and even more images and paintings. All of it is obtainable for purchase, and this facet is something Nguyen would like to carry on to improve and promote in her bakery. 

Not only does Nguyen run her possess bakery now, but her sister, An Nguyen, owns Savory Vietnam (2200 West Alameda Avenue), Westword’s 2022 Finest of Denver decide for Ideal Vietnamese Cafe. New Saigon Bakery is nonetheless likely sturdy, too, with her mothers and fathers operating the show and churning out all those well known banh mi sandwiches and other Vietnamese goodies. As for her parents, Nguyen states they enjoy her new bakery and cafe and are incredibly very pleased of what she has created — and centered on the lines on a current Saturday, the neighborhood is satisfied she’s there, much too.

Banh & Butter is situated at 9935 East Colfax Avenue and is open up from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday by Thursday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For extra info, check out