Cinnamon Roll History

Silver Grill Cafe proudly presents our Famous Giant Cinnamon Rolls and a Tribute to Russ Hamilton…

Our Famous Cinnamon Rolls are baked fresh daily! We encourage you to call ahead for large orders. Cinnamon Rolls may be picked up 7 days a weeks 6:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Call 970-484-4656 to order.

Russ Hamilton

Silver Grill Cinnamon Roll History

When the Silver Grill was purchased in 1979 by John Arnolfo, the cafe sat a mere 40 customers. The business operated for 7 years struggling for an identity. John realized that the restaurant of old where a 40 seat cafe could support a family were over. At that time the giant cinnamon roll franchises were popping up around the country. There were local favorites that were known for their cinnamon rolls. John felt he could fill the niche of being the downtown Cinnamon Roll king.

John watched, observed and collected cinnamon roll recipes from family, friends and cookbooks. Not satisfied with what he found, John recognized that they were all very similar in how they were made; they started with a sweet dough recipe, made up of basic ingredients. John started with the basic recipe found in an old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook from 1969.

With very little experience and virtually no knowledge of baking, John embarked on the task of creating a signature item. John’s first day of baking was gleaned from a combination of his collected recipes. His first cinnamon rolls were rolled out. As they came out of the oven, John was proud as a peacock as he brought his first batch out of the oven. He displayed and passed them around the restaurant, giving away samples. If the truth be told, they were terrible and hard as hockey pucks, but John persevered, and he quickly became quite good. From that first day of baking his first 18 cinnamon rolls, he was quickly up to baking 36 a day.

Within 3 months John was already in need of help; that is when his first big break came. Advertising for a baker, an older gentleman answered Johns’ ad. Little did he know that he was Russ Hamilton, a retired German “hand baker” that wanted to come out of retirement. Russ took John under his wing and taught him how to bake like a professional. Everything from rolling the dough to proofing, tenderizing, glazing and frosting the rolls. Within a year, not only was John baking dozens of rolls daily, his café business was booming. Within the first year of baking his first cinnamon roll, John was able to buy the adjoining building, and as they say, “The rest is history.” Since the first day years ago, John now bakes over 10,000 cinnamon rolls a month and has expanded his restaurant 4 times, from 1 building to 5, and from 40 seats to 150 and a 35 seat patio thanks to the Cinnamon Roll and Russ Hamilton.