Monday, March 11, 2013
Owner of Denton’s Jupiter House opens bagel shop with stellar cinnamon rolls
Seriously, they are good.
DENTON When Royal’s Bagel Shop & Deli owner Joey Hawkins says his Denton café makes the best cinnamon rolls in Texas, he just might be right.
At age 16, Hawkins was the first employee at the flagship Cinnamonster in Littleton, Colo. — a job that would set the stage for the rest of his cinnamon-bun-making life. He opened and managed the second Cinnamonster in Castle Rock, Colo. before helping his father expand the chain to North Texas. To say Hawkins is a cinnamon roll connoisseur would be an understatement.
“I know what the dough is supposed to taste like. I know what it’s supposed to feel like,” Hawkins said in a recent phone interview. “I’m a total perfectionist about it.”
When Hawkins turned 30, he decided to exit the business he had so fruitfully worked for and turn his attention toward coffee. He and his wife Amy bought Denton’s beloved Jupiter House Coffee in 2007 and, before long, pursued a second location on West University Drive.
Jupiter House Europa, as it was called, closed on Halloween 2012, however, due to monetary difficulties.
“There are too many coffee shops in Denton and the margin [for profit] is pretty slim,” Hawkins said. “So I just started thinking, ‘What does Denton need?’”
His answer was Royal’s, a hybrid bagel shop and deli that offers a comfortable atmosphere and healthy meal options. The café opened about three weeks ago in the same storefront where Jupiter House Europa failed.
The day I visited, Royal’s was packed with a diverse crowd. Laptop-absorbed students to chatty blue hairs enjoyed the naturally lit space and a cinnamon roll. The oven-fresh sponges of marbled sugar were gooey, leaving me to lick my fingers long after the roll was gone.
Named after the Hawkins’ first-born son, Royal’s makes all its bagel shmears in-house. From maple pecan to curry mango to garden, are so creamy and decadent you can practically taste the TLC. And the employees don’t skimp on the portions either.
Royal’s offers variety of bagel flavors such as jalapeno, chocolate chip, and poppy seed, between which patrons can stuff a hearty breakfast or lunch sandwich. The shop also has a respectable list of salads with both spinach and lettuce. Hawkins said he worked with a local chef to curate the menu.
“With this concept, I’ve tried to get out of my own way,” Hawkins said. “I really leaned on people that I trusted.”
It may seem too soon to ask what is next for this independent entrepreneur, as he's busy with the new bagel shop, new baby (Holiday Hawkins was born February 28), and a campaign for city council underway. But Hawkins has ambitions to open another local business with an undisclosed concept within the next year. He plans to name it after his daughter Holiday.
“I love Denton and it’s cool to see all the faces in [Royal’s] all the time,” Hawkins said. “I just want to do a good job and have businesses that will be around a while.”
Royal's Bagel Shop & Deli is open Monday through Saturday 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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