Nothing says Durango like a local, family-run business…and Odd Bird Bakery is just that.
Seven years ago, Rachel Curran started a craft bakery in her home kitchen. She specialized in pastries, and when the pandemic struck in 2020, she started offering Pajama Boxes. They contained a dozen assorted pastries and were delivered to people’s homes on the weekends. “It was a treat for many people,” Rachel says. “When everything was shut down, they could still get fresh baked pastries delivered to their doorsteps.”
At one point, Haley and Lori, owners of Still Life Coffee and Botanicals, ordered a Pajama Box and liked it. As it turned out, they had a kitchen and needed a pastry program. They reached out to Rachel, and their partnership began. “We have such aligned visions for our businesses. We have a similar aesthetic and vibe. It’s been a great opportunity to grow and support each other,” says Rachel.
Soon after moving into Still Life’s kitchen, Rachel needed help. “My husband left his 9-5 engineering job, and we took a crazy leap. He learned how to bake pastries, and we juggle small business ownership while homeschooling our children.”
In the true spirit of a family business, Rachel’s parents run the bakery stand at the Durango Farmer’s Market each week, and her kids help out by stamping bags, giving change, and assisting wherever possible.
As the business has grown over the years, Rachel has reached out to the SBDC on a number of occasions. “Mary has helped us generate ideas and has been a great resource. She’s helped us navigate the small business world and determine the smartest moves for our specific situation.”
All of Odd Bird’s delicacies are made from scratch and are based on the Curran’s own, original recipes. The name, “Odd Bird,” aptly describes their business. Their pastries are “out of the box” with combinations that aren’t standard or traditional. But, they are delicious! The baked goods are seasonally inspired, and the company uses local ingredients whenever possible. Their goodies can now be found at Red Wolf Coffee (in Mancos), Still Life Coffee & Botanicals, the Durango Farmer’s Market, and the local produce stands. They also make wedding cakes and provide food service for events.
As the family looks ahead, they are trying to formulate a clear vision of what the business will look like. “It’s a lot,” says Rachel. “It’s great and totally everything we want it to be. It’s always a learning process—as soon as you get it down, something changes. Running your own business is really scary and can be really hard. It takes up so much of your time and energy, but it’s also really amazing.” She encourages other prospective business owners, “If you are going to go for it, you just have to kind of—go for it!”
Next time you’re in the area, be sure to stop by Still Life Coffee & Botanicals for some delicious pastries. The Currans would love to meet you!