If you’ve ever hung around one of Denver’s endless breweries and heard the car horn go by like a car horn, you’ve been in the presence of The Gaykery Food truck and its southern baked goods.
This mobile bakery specializes in a unique combo that completely embodies its owner Joel Brandon Tullos – a southern Mississippi transplant with a mission to connect people of all walks of life regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or sexual preference. While brainstorming various bakery names, Tullos let himself be partly about his own sexual orientation and that Master class cakeshop incident this was seen as a violation of anti-discrimination laws when refusing to bake a gender transition cake. Today The Gaykery serves as a beacon for inclusivity.
Tullos moved to Colorado eight years ago after a trip to the Boulder area. Just two months later, he started looking for jobs in Mile High City and was preparing to move. While studying cooking at Johnson & Wales University, he interned with La Fillette bakery where he got his first professional cooking job after graduating.
Tullos only bought a food truck in April 2021 and finally started his own pastry shop at the end of June 2021. As a long-time home baker and now a professional baker, Tullos would definitely not find a niche in this traveling bakery in Denver.
“As southerners, we have to cook. And as a trained baker, I wanted to combine both. I noticed that food trucks have these glass cases on the windshield, but they never use them. It’s the perfect pastry shop, ”said Tullos.
While not all baked goodies are fully prepared on the truck, The Gaykery operates a communal kitchen that makes batches of cookie dough and pastries. After the transport to the truck, the oven and deep fryer are available for freshly baked delicacies. The same goes for its hearty menu items. Some of these key ingredients, such as raw seafood or poultry, cannot be cross-contaminated – so these are also prepared in the kitchen, stored in the refrigerator, and later roasted or grilled to order on the truck.
While it may seem difficult to juggle a full menu of both sweet and savory items on a food truck, Tullos is masters of the craft. When he grew up, he always mixed different ways, whether with pastries or fried southern food – nothing in the culinary world is taboo.
Some of the menu staples include Chicken and Waffles ($ 13), Shrimp and Grits ($ 14), French Macarons ($ 2.50 each) and various flavored biscuits. The hearty fare in the fare directly reflects the southern roots of Tullos. “I can’t go home if I can’t cook good chicken,” said Tullos.
While dessert options fluctuate with the season, the macaron flavors change every few weeks. Winter brings a caramel apple, rosemary blueberry and spicy chocolate macaron to the menu. Some additional goodies that are planned for the holiday season include Ice-cold shortbread and creme brulee biscuits, biscuits decorated with Hannukah and even chicken and dumplings.
The constantly adapting pastry shop is the perfect vessel for Tullos’ culinary curiosity and passion for delighting its customers.
“I’m building a fan base of really great people who accept people from all walks of life. It’s nice to see that there is something like that in this world, ”said Tullos.
The Gaykery can be found in various breweries in the greater Denver area. You can find the weekly schedule online here.
All photographs by Roxanna Carrasco.