Small Business spotlight- Rheinlander bakery

putting a face to eating local


Philip Ruch, feature writer

“Eat Local”, that phrase has been uttered by many people from all walks of life. Its popularity has even made its way into a recent Uber eats advertising campaign. Unfortunately, because of covid, many locally-owned restaurants have had to close their doors in the past year and many more are struggling. The ones that have pushed through have had to adapt in any way necessary to stay afloat. 

One local business, Rheinlander Bakery, over the last year has had to change its business model to accommodate for the new way customers interact with the store. Traditionally,  people happened upon Rheinlander bakery while strolling through Olde Town Arvada because the indisputable smell of fresh baked goods drew them in. 

Recently however Loren Naftz, owner and lead baker, has had to “…adapt to a decrease in foot traffic because the restaurants around us have decreased capacity and that’s a big driver for people coming down.” Luckily that did not stop the shop as they “started offering curbside service for people who need it and we take a lot more pre-orders…which has helped us serve more people than we could have.”

Without the technology of today, this style of service would not be possible. Many businesses have incorporated online purchasing options in an attempt to limit the in-person presence, Rheinlander being one of them. The new ordering system has “made things really efficient and people really like that.” 

The Rheinlander Bakery is very intentional about accommodating people with allergies. The store is justifiably proud of its wide selection of gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and vegan options which is an unfamiliar welcome for people with food allergies, especially at a bakery. 

Simply having allergy-friendly pastries sets Rheinlander apart and I had to give it a try. I chose a gluten-free dairy-free tuxedo pastry and was not disappointed in the slightest. Most gluten-free pastries are dry and flat in texture but that was far from the case. The cake was light fluffy as it should be. The frosting was as thick as bugs on a bumper which I could have gone without, but the pastry exceeded my expectations and left me feeling satisfied. 

Senior Addison Walker when asked his opinion said “ the smell of the bakery as you walk up does not do justice for all the goodies sold there” his favorite baked good was a toss-up, but “ the chocolate chip cookies are something special there.”

Small businesses bring and build character within their communities.  Without stores like Rheinlander Bakery, Olde Town Arvada would not be the lively place it is known for hence the importance of “Eat local”.