If you travel north on Linden Street in Old Town, you will see a startling juxtaposition between sleek contemporary and American farmhouse. At first glance, you may assume these are two separate buildings. But on further inspection, it’s revealed to be one large building. On the left, you have The Cache, a casual dining restaurant, and on the right, the new bakery, Ginger and Baker.
Walking into the bakery, it is akin to having sugar directly injected into your veins. The atmosphere is full of woodgrain, cast iron decorations and ceramic dishes culminating in the image of a middle American farm-house-kitchen.
Immediately, feelings of homely sweetness are invoked set against mental images of colonial style homes to the backdrop of expansive wheat fields. You also see the bright red hair of owner Ginger Graham darting around to talk to guests.
If you asked people a few years ago what would be a good replacement for the Northern Colorado Feeder Supply, a few ideas may have come to mind, but a bakery was likely not at the tops of anyone’s list. Yet, when the building was bought in 2015, a bakery is exactly what Graham had in mind.
Graham grew up on a small farm in Arkansas where, she says, they made most of their own clothes and grew most of their own food, including raising poultry, cattle and pork.
According to Graham, baking was always present growing up in her house. Her mother owned her own catering business and would bake for an assortment of events.
“She and friend started what they called The Sugar and Spice Catering Company, and they did primarily weddings, so I grew up decorating wedding cakes, making wedding mints, and petit fours and homemade candies for receptions and openings,” Graham said.
She would constantly be in the kitchen helping her mother, and because her mother was so hospitable, there was constantly something that needed to be made, Graham said.
Since those times, the idea of owning her own bakery never stopped.
“I always thought it would be fun to own a small pie shop and flower shop, almost like a European market,” Graham said.
Neither one having a college education themselves, Graham’s parents were determined to see to it that both she and her brother received one. When the time came, Graham chose to attend the University of Arkansas where she received her degree in agriculture.
After college, she took a sales representative job at Elanco LLC., at the time one of the biggest agricultural chemical companies in the world, according to Graham.
After five years, she was elevated to marketing, by which point she had come to enjoy the business world and decided to go to business school to pursue further ambitions.
Since then, she has gone on to run a Fortune 500 company and a Nasdaq 100 company while also serving on several boards of directors.
Fast forward to 2011, and Graham along with her husband had moved to Fort Collins. Her husband was the athletics director at Colorado State University. As such, they were heavily involved in the community.
Once they settled down and began to decide what they were going to do, Graham decided now was the time to finally open up that little pie shop. The search for a building began in 2013 and ended in 2014 when she discovered the Northern Colorado Feeder Supply was for sale.
When Graham came to Fort Collins, she fell in love with the community and Old Town especially. So when she saw the over 100-year-old building up for sale, she thought it was the perfect opportunity. This was an opportunity not only to fulfill a dream but to also add something to the town she fell in love with so much.
“We fell in love with Fort Collins,” Graham said. “Old Town is a very special community. It’s fun. It’s unique. It has a personality.”
One of her goals in choosing the location was to bring to people together and be an addition to the community.
“We feel like this is a great gathering place for Fort Collins,” Graham said. “We love the engagement the community has here. There’s every age group and so many things to do and we thought this building represented a fun place to gather in Fort Collins and make memories together.”
“We feel like this is a great gathering place for Fort Collins.” – Ginger Graham
Dan Dreyfuss, director of operations, has been in business for 34 years.
“I’ve worked corporate,” Dreyfuss said. “I’ve worked private sector businesses for people all over the country that have multi-million dollar operations, and I’ve never come across ownership that just demands perfection seek perfection and will do anything along with the team to achieve all those goals.”
Collegian reporter Ty Davis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @TyDavisACW.