The announcement marks a big growth spurt for the little Manitou creperie that has been steadily expanding since it opened three years ago.
On top of a presence in Whole Foods, Co-Owner Michelle Marx said Coquette’s, known for its gluten-free goodies, is opening a satellite bakery and retail shop at 2130 Spectra Drive, in a a warehouse near Lower Gold Camp Road.
Marx said Coquette has been bursting at the seams in its location at 915 Manitou Avenue and has been looking for the right space to open a new location in downtown Colorado Springs for more than a year.
“We’re still looking for just the right spot,” she said. “But in the meanwhile, we really needed a bakery space.”
She said the Whole Foods deal has been in the works for several months and the two local stores are just the beginning. Coquette’s has the green light to expand to all the Whole Foods stores in the four-state Rocky Mountain region as soon as the bakery is ready to meet added demand.
Coquette’s will supply cupcakes, slices of German chocolate cake and coffee cake to the stores to start with and will make two deliveries a week to each location.
Marx said she is hiring new bakery staff and some people who were part-time bakers will become full-time employees in the new 1,800-square-foot facility.
The new location, which will primarily house the industrial bakery operation, will also have a retail shop with a patio, coffee and pastries and maybe some take-and-go lunch items like sandwiches and croissants, Marx said. She expects it to open before the end of May.
“That’s something we’ve wanted to try doing for a while,” she said. “But we just haven’t had the space.”
On top of the new location and Whole Foods contract, Marx said Coquette’s is also negotiating with some national distributors and could begin wholesaling its gluten-free flours.
Until the right downtown location for another Coquette restaurant comes along, Marx said she is considering an offer to sell items from the new Curbside Cuisine permanent food truck location at 225 N. Nevada Ave. announced earlier this month. The bakery wouldn’t have a truck, but could sell out of the vacant gas station building.
“We have a lot going on right now,” she said. “It’s all going pretty fast.”