New Crossroads bakery Brioche gets its name from the dough used for its signature product.
“Our cinnamon roll is made using brioche dough that gets its unique characteristic by it being laminated — combining the dough with the butter to create multiple layers — which, in the end, gives you a flakier cinnamon roll, like a croissant,” said Brandon Kelley, who owns the shop with his wife, Ida.
He has been hooked on the restaurant business from his first job as a dishwasher in a Jefferson City restaurant. But concern for his future — some employees twice his age were having trouble keeping up — had him asking: “‘How do I not be a dishwasher my whole life?”
Crew members began teaching him some of their techniques. Later, when an employee was fired, the line moved up and he was pulled in to make 30 salads during a hectic Saturday night. Within eight months, he had learned enough to land a job as a banquet prep cook for a 255-room hotel. One chef commented on his “natural talent,” and he thrived on the fast pace and seemingly overwhelming task of helping to feed hundreds of people in one night.
But he was curious about the breakfast pastries and desserts that were made elsewhere. So while attending the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., he focused on the “art and craft of baking and pastry.”
“Instead of just seasoning the potatoes with salt and pepper, this is an exact science,” he said.
After graduating in 2003, he moved back to Jefferson City to work in a hotel. But when two culinary school friends were passing through town on their way to Seattle, he joined them. He landed a position as one of six bakery crew members for a 455-room hotel.
Still, he planned to not only have his own bakery by the time he was 30, he wanted his hometown to have the same high-quality bakery and coffee shop experience offered throughout Seattle.
He opened B.K. Bakery in Jefferson City in 2009, when he was 25. But instead of concentrating on the pastries he was so passionate about, he had to diversify by making doughnuts.
In December, the couple closed the Jefferson City shop and relocated to the Kansas City area, where Ida had grown up. They figured a higher traffic area would allow them to focus on just artisan pastries and specialty coffee.
They have been working on the Brioche space, at 2000 Main St., since March. Brioche is scheduled to open late next week after city inspections.
It will serve such items as cinnamon rolls, pecan sticky buns, croissants, cream and fruit danish, muffins, savory pastries, coffeecakes and cookies, along with Shortwave Coffee, a small batch roaster based in Columbia.
Hours will be 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It also will be open later during First Fridays but closed on Sundays.
“Pastry-making goes back centuries,” Brandon Kelley said. “I want to help preserve that and carry it on.”