DENVER — Rosales Mexican Bakery, one of the first Mexican bakeries in Denver opened its doors in 1976.
The Rosales family moved to Colorado from Cuidad Juarez, Mexico. The family decided to open the bakery in Denver's Highland neighborhood, near North High School, where the family felt at home, surrounded by people with similar backgrounds.
“We started about 50 years ago," said current owner, Laura Lechuga. "It was my parents, the whole family. My sisters, my mom and dad, and me.”
Lechuga was 10 years old when her dad opened the bakery in Denver. With the help from the family, her dad baked bread every morning, while her mom and sisters helped around the bakery with whatever they could.
“We used to live upstairs," Lechuga said. "I’ve been here for most of my life. My job was here in the front. We used to clean out the showcases.”
Lechuga’s role has always been behind the register, greeting customers and introducing them to Mexican pastries.
“People come in here and see some of the stuff they haven’t seen in a long time, it gets them happy,” Lechuga said.
The top two pastries people come in for every day, Bollilos a classic dinner roll, made by hand daily and Conchas, sugar covered bread. Lechuga said they can sell about 1,500 Conchas on Sundays, their busiest day.
Lechuga eventually decided on a different career path that didn’t include the family business.
“I was working for the IRS at that time and was pregnant with my first child,” Lechuga said.
In 1992, her dad passed away. “My mom said if you don’t come back and stay here full time, the bakery is going to go down,” Lechuga siad.
Lechuga decided to continue what her dad started, and run the business on her own. She’s been the sole owner since her father passed and has focused on what she knows best — greeting customers behind the register.
The baking part, she leaves that up to her cousin, Manuel, who’s been baking with her since her dad passed away.
“Manuel is one of the strong people that can make it happen. We’ve survived all the changes. We’re still here.”
Fast forward three decades later, Lechuga and Manuel continue the family tradition, working in family, and introducing Mexican pastries to customers.
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