Cupcakes…cookies…muffins…scones…is your mouth watering yet?
Kim Solecki has always had a love for baking. It’s a passion she shared with her mother, and she’s always known she wanted to pursue it as a career. But, with a successful career in technology sales, she wasn’t sure how to fit it in. In 2011, she started attending classes at Johnson and Wales on the weekends. “I didn’t want my day job to know, so I snuck into culinary school. I attended classes for ten hours every Saturday,” Kim says with a laugh.
Eight years later, she launched a cookie business out of her home. In 2023, the perfect location came available, and Kim knew it was time to take her side hustle full time.
As she worked on launching the new phase of the business, Kim had plenty of questions. As a Fort Lewis grad, she decided to reach out to the college to see what they had to offer. They referred her to the SBDC. “The SBDC connected me with Bert Carder, who was really helpful. As a fellow small business owner, he gave me an alternate perspective and helped me see things I hadn’t thought about. He was super supportive and stopped by with his family throughout our renovation to see how the project was coming along.”
Finally, at the end of October, Mountain Dough Bakery opened its doors and hit the ground running. “We opened with an amazing team of seven, including me. Our front counter team is outstanding, and our talented bakers are excellent. I couldn’t do it without them,” says Kim.
The shop serves coffee and has cases of baked goods that are stocked full daily. With a welcoming seating area, Mountain Dough is a great place to read the paper, meet friends, and enjoy delectable pastry and coffee. They also sell local products including Honeyville honey, freeze dried candy, jewelry, and more.
But, the cookie decorating classes really set Mountain Dough apart. Attendees learn how to decorate their own cookies, usually along a seasonal theme. “Everyone comes in and leaves with beautiful cookies,” Kim says. “I’ve been amazed at what people have been creating!” The classes are great for team building events, birthday parties, and more. In addition, Mountain Dough offers cupcake and cake catering for weddings, parties, and corporate events.
After just five weeks in business, Mountain Dough is thriving. “I am so grateful for all the local support. We already have regulars at the shop, and the warm embrace of Durango has truly been amazing,” Kim says. Looking forward, the team is gearing up for the holidays. From Noel Night to parties to Christmas cookies and Santa events…the team is looking forward to the busy season.
If you’re getting ready to launch a business, Kim offers this encouragement: “Make sure you have all your ducks in a row. It takes many efforts to start a business, so reach out to everyone who offers help and take it! Whether its hanging window shades or stamping bags or providing a piece of advice—be open. You never know who will come up with a perfect idea, and it only makes for a better business when you finally launch.” With the holidays approaching, be sure to stop in at Mountain Dough to see what the fuss is about!