New Yampa bakery owner hopes to add more spirit to downtown
Rows of candied and cherry walnut, blueberry and vanilla cranberry scones lined the display case at Bearpaw Bakery on Thursday, sitting alongside muffins, cupcakes and cinnamon rolls, all made fresh from scratch by Brittney Plank.
Plank is getting ready to officially open her new bakery, located at 70 S. Moffat Ave. in Yampa, and hopes to put the small Routt County town on the map and smiles onto peoples’ faces.
“I just want to capture the feel of Yampa,” Plank said. “I want people to come and realize that we are a town with history, too.
“I just love when people come in, and I see the smile on their face when they see my baked goods. It just makes me happy that something that I’ve made can make somebody else happy.”
In addition to pastries, the bakery offers a selection of coffees from Steamboat Coffee Roasters, along with iced coffee. Plank also plans to include other items like pretzels and grab-and-go sandwiches.
Plank first started baking for social gatherings and as treats for co-workers when she was a member of the U.S. Air Force, stationed in Fort Meade, Maryland, just 10 minutes from where she lived.
That’s where she discovered her passion for baking and her husband, Andrew.
“In the Air Force, I was baking cupcakes for everybody, and I was getting a lot of positive feedback,” Plank said. “So it kind of sparked a passion in me.”
After she left the Air Force five years ago, Plank continued to pursue her passion. She attended the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Boulder and has worked at several bakeries.
Though Bearpaw’s grand opening is slated for May 1, Plank has had a sort of soft opening over the past few days. In doing so, she has gotten quite a bit of attention, which has made her feel optimistic the bakery will become a community gathering place. She also hopes the proximity of the eatery to Colorado Highway 131 will attract patrons.
“I hope the community will support me. I definitely want to be a part of this town, and I want to help it boom,” Plank said.
Beginning May 1, Bearpaw Bakery will be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Monday and closed on Tuesdays.
Noreen Moore and Donna Corrigan had hoped to bring a lively spirit to downtown Yampa when they purchased the building housing Bearpaw Bakery years ago. The two freshened up the historic building’s facade and renovated its interior, which used to house Wassinger’s Heating and Plumbing and Yampa Garage.
“I think it’s a great asset for the community and for the town,” Corrigan said. “(Plank) is planning on getting some of the raft companies, fishing guides and people that are going up to the Flat Tops to stop in. It was much needed.”
Corrigan was thrilled they were able to keep some of the character of the building, including parts of the old auto lift, rollers from the garage doors and the Yampa Garage sign. The building, which also includes several rental units, was built in 1926, and that history has not been lost on Plank, who fell in love with the spot after moving to Routt County two years ago.
“When I moved to Yampa, they showed me this place, and I said to the Realtor that I was going to make this into my bakery one day,” Plank said. “I drove down the Main Street when I was first looking at buying a house here, and that is what sold me because it’s just so charming.”
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