DENVER – Savory Plum Bistro & Bakery is tucked in an unassuming strip mall on the west side of town.
The compact space looks, feels and deliciously smells like an independent West Coast coffee shop. The large, gleaming espresso machine whirs; the handmade chalkboards boast espressos, lattes and americanos; and a smiling barista is ready to take orders.
But upon closer consideration, the customer realizes the chalkboards also list salads, sandwiches and paninis. Not to mention the pastry case full of made-in-house sweets and treats. This cozy bistro is the perfect place to grab breakfast on the go, meet a friend for lunch or dawdle over dinner.
Co-owner Lois Ventsias knows a little something about coffee; after all, she worked for Starbucks for more than nine years. So she wanted to open a place that had an emphasis on coffee but didn’t rely on it as the entire business.
“A coffee-only place is very hard to sustain,” Ventsias said. “So now we have this great coffee shop that is a bakery and a bistro, as well.”
She and co-owner Eric Reeves now have the freedom to experiment with new food items, set the décor, donate to the community and please the customer.
Savory Plum seemed bound to locate in Denver.
“We had been looking in the surrounding areas when this place came up for lease,” Ventsias said.
Then as they were working on the space, a woman named Adrienne Shale stopped by and offered her services as a pastry chef. Ventsias shakes her head at the memory. It was just so fortuitous.
Shale has an associate degree in patisserie and baking from Le Cordon Bleu in Portland, Ore. She still works at the bistro creating cupcakes, scones and cakes every morning with co-worker and Johnson and Wales University graduate Amber Pate.
Customers have donated chairs, picture frames and art to the space. The vibe is homey but chic with an exposed beam ceiling and touches of deep red throughout.
The menu is surprisingly deep and full of items that will please a sophisticated palate without being fussy.
Take the bacon jam and gruyere panini, for example. The bacon jam alone takes five hours to hours to prepare; then it is generously slathered on fresh bread from Nova Bakery and grilled until the cheese is perfectly gooey.
Aside from the bread, every item is made in-house from the egg salad to every soup.
The bistro also serves several dinner entrées, such as bratwurst and meatloaf. Wine and beer are available, as well. Customers can sit, sip, nibble and work with free WiFi.
Savory Plum also offers catering, which can be customized to the client’s needs. And with enough notice, they can create just about anything. Any type of cake or other pastries can be customized and ordered through the bakery.
“I just love working with special orders for the customers,” Ventsias said.
“We get to be a part of important celebrations like surprise proposals or First Communions. It’s really special.
This is a gem of a place where you can get an amazing cup of coffee, tasty food and finish off with a sweet treat.
“I just love the buzz of the place when it gets busy,” said Ventsias. “It is just how we envisioned it.”
Want to go? Savory Plum Bistro & Bakery 3740 N.C. 16 Business, Denver, 704-483-8900.