Meet Kristin Jones, the owner and baker at Confectioners’ Uni Verse, a cottage bakery based in Denver, Colorado. Kristin is a Navy veteran, culinary school graduate, and professional baker who’s built her business with the support of her family and friends.
“I’m a file clerk by day, and a baker by night. I started properly working on this project in 2015, when I just grabbed a journal and started writing. I wrote ‘this is where I’m at in life’ and wrote down some plans for my future,” Kristin said.
“I was active duty military, two kids, a house, and I was ready to make the first step. I put an ad on Craigslist and started taking orders, and it just took off. I realized she needed capital to start her business, so I joined the Navy. When I left the Navy, I realized that I could use the GI bill to go to college,” she said.
“I was accepted to Johnson & Wales out of high school, so I stuck with them. I moved to Denver and went to college at Johnson & Wales in 2016, graduating in 2018. I did a couple of internships with a few local places, and just kept baking whenever I could find an oven.”
“Most recently, my husband has been extremely supportive and has helped me feel confident to walk right into starting my own business,” Kristin said.
“My grandmother was always making pies for holidays,” Kristin said. “My uncle, cousin and myself would fight over helping her to make the pies. The more you helped, the more you got!”
“I also loved the movie Julie & Julia and because of it, I was obsessed with learning to poach eggs. That was the start for me. Then Chef came out a few years later and I was inspired by how it would feel to be a chef. I’m a really big movie buff.”
“Handcrafted and buttery!”
“Really leaning into the buttery side of things, I’ve been trying to make croissants lately,” Kristin said. “I’ve been working to nail them down so that they don’t look so ‘handcrafted.’ Recently, I started making cinnamon rolls, too, because Colorado finally came out with an authorized recipe. I also make some really good brownies, peach and pear candy, and strawberry taffy.”
“I love a fresh croissant with either a cup of passion fruit tea or coffee.”
“Before starting my cottage bakery, I worked at a bakery called The Rolling Pin. It’s closed now, but the owner, Jay Thomas, went to Johnson & Wales as well. It took him five years to get to the point where he could open the business. It was a huge moment in his life to open it,” Kristin said.
“I find him really inspirational. It’s something that was really inspiring to watch.”
“Funnily enough, I really enjoy the management part of this business. Being a clerk during the day might give you a hint as to why, and the kind of person I am,” Kristin said. “Baking is great, too. There are a lot of steps that have to happen before people can walk out the door with a product, and I really like being a part of that process.”
“Do your research.”
She recommends that aspiring cottage bakers make a dream board or a dream journal and fill it with as much information as they can possibly imagine about the end result. “If you see a building you can picture yourself in it, take a picture of it and hang it up. If you have an idea for a logo, make it and hang it up so you can see it,” Kristin said.
“Write down as much as you can about how you’re feeling, what you did that day, so you can keep track of progress and track yourself as you go through a life change.”
“Dedication and love go far.”