Taste of Denmark: Oh So Sweet

I come from a Swedish-American family. We eat limpa bread at Christmas, have Swedish pancakes with lingonnberries for breakfast and love Scandinavian sweets.

So I was thrilled when my sister introduced me to Taste of Denmark, a thriving bakery in Lakewood. It’s not often you find authentic European-style bakeries in Colorado. I know of only a few. But this is the real deal.

Danish duo Ronny Tronoe and Diana Honoe opened Taste of Denmark in 1999.

Ronny Tronoe and Diana Honoe, natives of Denmark, own the bakery. Ronny received his training at a baking academy in Ringsted, Denmark. “But that was only the beginning,” he says. “It’s like getting a driver’s license. You have to learn to do the real thing. And even though I’ve been baking more than 25 years now, there is always more to learn.”

He met Diana in the Danishvillage of Solvang, Calif., in the early ‘90s. They came up with the idea of one day starting a bakery in America. So the pair returned to Denmark, started a bakery and then sold it to fund their new dream across the ocean.

The pair had visited Colorado and liked it. “The weather is good, the sun always shining,” Ronny says with a laugh. “Not like it is in Denmark in the winter.”

They arrived in Colorado in 1998. Ronny first worked as a pastry chef at a restaurant. In December 1999, they opened the doors of their new bakery. Ronny served as baker, and Diana ran the behind-the-scenes business details.

The local Colorado community gave them a great reception. “People were excited about a Danish, European-style bakery,” says Ronny. “They went crazy over it.”

Taste of Denmark offers a variety of delicious European breads and sweets.

In December 2009, the bakery celebrated its 10th anniversary in new, larger digs at 1901 S. Kipling Street in Lakewood. The bakery has a seating area for customers, and now sells soups and sandwiches.

“It’s become a meeting place,” says Ronny. “People like to sit, have coffee and pastries and talk.”

One of the best-sellers is the almond horn, a sweet treat made from sugar, almond paste and eggs whites, rolled in almond flakes and dipped in chocolate.

Also popular are European breads, such as Swedish limpa, Spanish bread and Italian La Scarpa.

“European breads are crustier and softer inside,” says Ronny. “They keep longer on the counter than supermarket bread. Our breads are made with love.”

My favorite treat is Kringle, a sweet bread filled with almond paste and topped with almonds. These are hard to find in Colorado (the nearest I’ve found them is the Swedish-American town of Lindsborg, Kan.), but happily, they’re a staple at Taste of Denmark.

The bakery has become a hang out, offering soup, sandwiches and coffee in addition to the baked goodies.

If You Go

Taste of Denmark
1901 S. Kipling Street, Lakewood, CO 80227;
303-987-8283; tasteofdenmark.net

The bakery is closed Mondays; open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.

Janna Graber is executive director of Go World Publishing and Productions.