City Bakery was founded as a local, wholesale artisan bakery in 2007 by owner, Michael Bortz. Michael is a third generation chocolatier whose family came over from Germany in 1906 and founded the Bortz Chocolate Company in Reading Pennsylvania. Michael has an extensive and diverse repertoire both culinary and otherwise. His approach to baking bread is to fine tune formulas to his personal tastes while staying true to traditional methods and great quality. It is a difficult task to balance maximum freshness and quality alongside timeliness and efficiency but somehow he has it down to an art. His background in the restaurant industry as an Executive Chef helps him understand and accommodate the bread and pastry needs of local restaurants. Michael's greatest growth experience was being the Corporate Chef and Corporate Baker under David Birzon, the president of Paradise Bakery & Cafe in Scottsdale, AZ where he developed recipes for baked goods and other products for the company's 40 national cafes.
At City Bakery we start the day, 7-days a week at 2 am to get bread production going. Because all of our bread is baked fresh daily, we have to get started early to get our drivers out at 6 am. Our goal is to have the best bread in Colorado and to do so we're sacrificing a little sleep to get it done right. All natural preferments are used in City Bakery breads including biga (for the ciabatta), sourdough starter (for the rye and sourdough), and poolish (for baguettes). Preferments enhance the flavor of the final product by letting the flavors mature for longer periods of time before mixing the dough.
City Bakery has now expanded to include a Cafe on South Lincoln Street to showcase our fantastic breads along with specialty sandwiches, soups made in-house, coffee, pastries and so much more! We hope you stop by to have a taste for yourself!
Who Runs This Place?
Michael Bortz founded City Bakery but he can't do it all on his own. The bakery's general manager is Caitlin Mandigo, she is a culinary graduate, giving Michael a chance to sleep in (until 4 am, if you can call that sleeping in!) and take regular days off to recover from the daily bakery beating.
Caitlin was born and raised in St. Joseph, Michigan and is a graduate of Art Institute in Denver with a concentration in Baking & Pastry. She got into baking because she was drawn to decorating wedding cakes. After discovering that decorating wedding cakes is actually tedious work, she found through bread courses that baking is where all the fun is at. If waking up at 1 am to get to work by 2 isn't enough, this girl pretty much does it all on the production floor- she takes bread orders, inputs pars, and oversees the bread production from starter to the finished product. She is a mixing machine. Setting the pace of bakery production every morning, she makes judgement calls, adjusts production output and generally just kicks butt. When not mixing ciabatta at 2 am, Caitlin takes great advantage of the beauty of Colorado by getting out into the wilderness to ski and camp with her fiancé Jason and their puppy Nala. When the weather allows you can find Caitlin out on a frozen lake ice fishing.
(Our field trip to an Avalache game! Thanks Michael!)
What can I say, we're really lucky here to have such a great crew to work with! It's not easy, believe me, to find people who are not only willing to wake up long before the sun to do physically demanding labor and on top of that be fun-loving, positive team members. We work hard at the bakery but we have a great time doing it too.
Community Involvement: City Bakery participates in many philathropic events throughout the year, here are a few of our favorites.