Kneaders Bakery & Cafe, a Utah-based chain that specializes in made-from-scratch baked goods and other foods, will open its first Colorado location this year at the First & Main Town Center in Colorado Springs.
The nearly 4,000-square-foot Kneaders will be built near First & Main’s Cinemark movie theater complex and a new Holiday Inn Express. First & Main, which runs along Powers Boulevard on the east side of the Springs, is the city’s largest retail complex.
Construction is targeted to begin in a few weeks, and Kneaders will open in August, said Andrew Smith, founder and acting CEO of Four Foods Group, which will own and operate the Springs location along with a local partner.
Kneaders was launched in 1997 by a husband-and-wife team; there are 22 locations in Utah, Arizona and Idaho, according to the chain’s website. Four Foods Group, a Utah restaurant investment group, has a partnership with Kneaders’ founders to develop the restaurants in several states, including Colorado.
Four Foods Group plans at least two more Kneaders in the Springs and is looking at a half-dozen sites for those locations, Smith said. A total of 12 to 16 locations are planned in Colorado over the next three years, he said.
All Kneaders operate in free-standing buildings and have drive-throughs, which set the chain apart from some competitors, Smith said.
Kneaders’ full-service menu will include gourmet soups, sandwiches on artisan breads, salads, paninis and smoothies, among other items. But the chain is best known for its European breads, pastries, brownies and other baked goods, which are also sold in a variety of custom gift baskets, Smith said.
All baked goods, soups and other items are prepared completely on site, Smith said. Many large bakeries, he said, prepare bread dough and other items elsewhere, add preservatives and have them brought to a location two or three days later for baking.
“We’re fresh food, served fast,” Smith said. “We are a 100 percent scratch bakery, which means we do not commissary anything.”
The Kneaders at First & Main will seat 95 people and have a patio that seats another 50, Smith said. It will employ 60 to 65 full- and part-time people.
Four Foods Group chose to launch its first Colorado location in the Springs because it saw the city as a family-oriented community where residents enjoy spending time together by eating out, Smith said.
“People like to go out,” he said. “That’s the way they celebrate. Dinner and movie or dinner and an activity or whatever. That’s the kind of business that we are. We like to be in, and we’ve thrived here in Utah, in bedroom communities where the families come No. 1.”
Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228 Twitter @richladen
Facebook Rich Laden