Brooke Malley has been working at Robaire’s Bakery on Mission, just north of Broomfield, for about a year and a half, and has no plans to leave the tiny shop where there’s, “love in every bite,” any time soon.
“It’s a very home grown business,” says Malley, “Everyone puts their all into everything they do.”
The way Malley describes it, Robaire’s is a familiar place whether you’ve been there or not. It’s the corner bodega in New York City, the pizza place for locals in Chicago, the best and oldest taqueria in San Antonio. It’s the American Dream contained in a box just big enough for a bustling kitchen and a few small tables where the people lucky enough to be in-the-know can sip a cup of coffee on a sunny Wednesday morning. Here, they just happen to specialize in some of the best baked goods known to mid-Michiganders.
Founded in 1961 by French immigrants Robaire and Dina Desormes, the bakery might not exist at all if hadn’t been for World War II and the compassion of Dina’s parents, who took in and sheltered two downed American pilots during the fight. Afterwards, those pilots sponsored the family’s move to America as a token of their gratitude.
Once on American soil Robaire, who had prior baking experience, took a job in the kitchen at Central Michigan University. It wasn’t until a few years later when the couple heard that a local convenience store was looking to add a bakery department to the store that they entertained the idea of opening up a shop of their own. Once they did, however, their creations quickly developed an avid following in Mt. Pleasant and surrounding communities.
Today, Malley says their Cinnamon Raisin rolls are regular customers’ number one favorite treat, followed closely by the bakery’s custom cakes.
Sadly, Robaire is no longer in the kitchen at the bakery. He lost his battle with lung cancer about thirty years after the couple began their sugar-sweetened journey, but not before becoming an American citizen. Already confined to bed at the time, an immigration official from Detroit and a judge from Bay City came to his bedside to administer his citizenship test and make his goal a reality before he passed. Dina and their son, Gerard, followed suit – taking the test and becoming official American citizens — not long after.
Dina can still be found in Robaire’s day-to-day, hustling around the front and back of shop to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible — and the love makes it into every bite.