My name is Alicia Luther Clardie, and I would like to share my story with you. And after getting to know me, I hope it encourages you to help me fulfill a life-long dream...
Some of my earliest memories were family Sundays spent at my Abuelita's (Grandmother's) house, the anticipation of seeing her filled me with excitement. So much, that when we arrived, I pushed my Mom, Dad, and Brother aside just to rush into the kitchen to see her first. I remember being so curious, inspecting every pot & pan on the stove so I could see what she had prepared for dinner. The sights, the sounds, and especially the smells are what have inspired me to this day. I can recall being mesmerized as she moved through the kitchen with purpose, efficiency, and care. She would show me her secret way of making perfect arroz. Explaining why patience was so important in each step of the way, her passion was apparent in every grain of rice, and you could taste it in every mouthful. And while the entire family would sit down to eat, she would be constantly moving about ensuring every one of us had everything we could need or want to enjoy this amazing meal. At the time I was too young to understand why she couldn't just sit, take a break and enjoy her dinner, but as time moved on I now know exactly why, and I'm seeing more and more of her in myself.
From those early days are where my love for the kitchen came, and my passion for baking came soon after that. The dream has always been to open a bakery of my own, a bakery that would bring the same excitement and happiness that I felt those Sundays with Abuelita.
So to get closer to this reality I’ve spent years developing not only my baking skills, but also my staff management and restaurant industry knowledge. I began my career as just a pastry cook at AKASHA Restaurant in Los Angeles. With this opportunity, and all the tools I was given, I quickly moved my way up the rank in the kitchen. From there I was offered the Executive Pastry Chef position with Black Eye Coffee, bringing me to the beautiful city of Denver, and help build my local reputation: I was featured in Denver Life Magazine, became a member of the 2016 Denver FIVE, and I garnered praise from many respected local media.
Fast forward to today. I am ready to take that giant leap in making my dream of opening a bakery/coffee shop come true...I’ve been approached by an amazing chef here in Denver who is helping me achieve this dream. With business experience, a local network and my talent for baking and operations, we’re perfectly positioned to create a staple in Denver's Congress Park Neighborhood. Just as important, this business would give us the opportunity to support local family-owned farms and purveyors. It gives us the chance to bring fresh, sustainable, Colorado-grown ingredients to our urban neighborhood. It makes me proud to call Colorado my home, so much that the inspiration of our shop, Spruce & Lark
(our State Tree and State Bird) comes from the resilient Blue Spruce and the free spirit of the Lark bunting. Spruce & Lark
will bring life to an already vibrant neighborhood.
Sharing a meal creates family and brings warmth to my heart. I always associate cooking and baking with happiness, and my dream is to share this with you. The only hurdle to making this dream a reality is money. With the support of my new husband, I’m putting in all of my personal savings, and have asked friends and family, but I know it’s just not enough. With build-out costs, specialty equipment needs, and access to the finest ingredients I need additional financial support to make this happen. Please help me bring my dream and the spirit of Abuelita to life, please donate for a tastier tomorrow.