CLOVIS – Sutton’s Bakery has a history in Clovis as rich as the goods it used to sell at 515 N. Main St.
Justin Cole is in the process of unearthing some of that history, researching the bakery’s past. While doing that, Cole is getting ready to make some new history at the location, where he will open a Clovis version of the Roosevelt Brewing Company & Public House that he has owned on 201 S. Main St. in Portales since 2012.
Cole is aiming for the Clovis establishment, which will be called the Roosevelt Brewing Company Tap Room, to open in time for the July 4 weekend.
“It’ll be a location where you can purchase our beer,” Cole said, “or stop by and enjoy one, hopefully soon.”
Cole said construction on the Clovis tap room has stayed pretty much on schedule, despite the coronavirus. It has been a tap room in the making for about eight years, since soon after Sutton’s Bakery closed.
“We initially wanted to open our brewery in Clovis,” Cole said. “We purchased the building we’re in around the same time we purchased our building in Portales. So it’s been in the works for years, but we got really serious about doing it around a year ago.”
Though this edition of the Roosevelt Brewing Company will initially be a tap room only, it will eventually branch out to be more like its predecessor.
“Our intention is to restore the antique bakery,” Cole said, “and commence some kind of bakery operation on that site in the future.”
Cole said he expects the North Main operation to eventually offer artisan breads, pastries and other baked goods.
Cole also expects the new Roosevelt Brewing Company to be well-received. It’s a classic case of giving the people what they want.
“We get a lot of support from the community, from our location here in Portales,” Cole said, “and they’ve long expressed their desire for us to open a location in Clovis.”
As that day draws near, Cole is delving into the building’s rich history.
He has heard that the former establishment may have opened in 1946 or ‘47. “It’s been kind of tough to track down, honestly,” he said. “We get a lot of mixed information from the title company. We get some information that says it was there 20 years before the title company says it was there.”
To the end of getting it right, Cole is hoping to soon meet the original owner Erby Sutton’s great niece, who is in her 90s. “I’ve been trying to track her down,” Cole said, “but I haven’t yet been able to get in contact with her.”
Even before he can find out about the bakery’s exact history, Cole wants to include part of it at the tap room.
“There is a 74-year-old steam injection oven,” he said, “that we plan on getting up and running again.”
Cole has lived in New Mexico his entire life. Born and raised in Clovis, and a graduate of Clovis High, he attended the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro, “and decided I wanted to make beer for the rest of my life,” he said.
He may just pull that off, with locations in both Clovis and Portales.
“I enjoy it a lot,” Cole said. “I still do all the brewing and still do all the formulas for our breads. I do the brewing and the baking here, and a little bit of everything else.”