top of page

About Us

Finding Inspiration in Every Turn

From Us to You

Love the Bird's Nest Team

Meet the heart and sole of the Bird's Nest 

rocky mountain national park birds nest exterior modern architecture winter snow cafe pizza sandwiches
At Bird & Jim and Bird's Nest we are committed to promoting an inclusive welcoming environment for our employees and customers.  We promote diversity with in our staff welcoming all all races, religious affiliation, age groups, gender identity and socioeconomic groups. 
We are committed to break barriers and strive towards an inclusive future.
Executive Chef Thomas

Executive Chef | Partner

Thomas moved from New York in 2000 to Vail, Colorado.  Upon relocating to the Denver Metro area.  Thomas became involved with independent restaurateurs within the Denver Metro area with the most recent at the Warwick Hotel and Resorts, as part of the remold team and opening of Gattara restaurant, and Perfect Landing Restaurant as executive chef.  Was part of the opening team at Guard and Grace as executive sous chef.  Opened Blackbird restaurant, an upscale venture as Executive Chef.  Served as VP of Production in a start-up venture at Fresh Takes Kitchen; Overseeing order fulfillment to included menu design, procurement, kitchen operations, and cost management associated with production and distribution. 

Thomas also served as Director of Operations for Revolution Foods in Colorado.  As director of operations, Thomas instituted production systems, managed vendor relationships, team building that supported Revolutions Foods market growth. 

Prior, Thomas was a part of Kevin Taylor Restaurant Group as Sous Chef and Executive.  During Thomas’ seven year tenure at Vail resorts, Thomas served as Sous Chef, Chef de Cuisine, and Executive Chef.

Thomas has spent 22 years in the hospitality / restaurant industry with 18 of those years in executive chef positions and leadership roles.  Thomas was classically trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.  Prior to his extensive culinary career, he served in the United States Marine Corps. 

Thomas maintains the foundation of classical cooking techniques with contemporary, and modern overtones embracing local ingredients when possible with seasonal influences, driving innovation.  In Thomas’ spare time he enjoys reading, exercising and spending time with family and friends. 

Birds Nest founder melissa

Founder | CEO

After creating Bird & Jim we saw room to grow and the opportunity to serve our community and visitors further creating a bakery and event space. Out of this came came the Bird's Nest and Nest Above--a dual purpose building with a café and bakery with amazing pizza as well as event space.   

My favorite pizza is "Why the Fig Not," yours?

Thanks for the love and support as we work hard and share our dreams!

Read about our Bird & Jim team here.

birds nest john

Operating Partner

Way back in 1996, I began my first job in the restaurant industry. Back then, restaurant jobs were not taken as seriously by me or the general public. Times have changed since then of course and my passion in the restaurant industry led me to focus on wine. After attending Sommelier classes with the International Sommelier Guild and beginning my journey as a Sommelier, I knew that this was the career for me. Fast forward several years later,  I lucked upon finding out beautiful home of Estes Park. Dreams became reality when Melissa and I teamed up in 2017 to open Bird and Jim. I want to thank the community for supporting our dreams and helping our business grow in ways I could have never imagined. I feel very privileged to live in such a beautiful place and be able to operate a successful business while enjoying my passions for the outdoors and running. 

DSC06321 - 2.jpg
pastry chef bird and jim

Pastry Chef

My name is Heaven Belle.

I just moved to Colorado in October 2022.
I grew up with the kitchen being my favorite room of the house. I swore magic happened in there. Now as an adult I have acquired a real passion for baking. I truly enjoy making beautiful things from nothing. I grew up baking for just family and friends, but when I moved to Colorado I decided I wanted to pursue baking in a more professional environment. So here I am! I'm excited to continue learning and growing at the Bird's Nest. 

cafe manager cat

Cafe Manager

Meet our cafe manger My Name is Cat, I have worked in cafes and coffee shops since 2013. Over time coffee, and working with coffee lovers has become a passion for me. I love the intimacy of a coffee shop and the connections I get to build with the community and the regulars that come in. I really enjoy working with such an amazing team and building a strong bond with people whose goal it is to serve one another. Working in such a beautiful environment like The Bird's Nest, has made me appreciate Estes Park and all Colorado has to offer. When I am not working, I love Photography, Music and being outdoors!

event manager juli

Event Manager


My name is Juli Rau. I am an event coordinator at The Bird’s Nest in beautiful Estes Park Colorado. I have been event coordinating with Bird and Jim // The Bird’s Nest since 2019. It truly is amazing to be apart of someone’s special day and to play such an important roll in making their event dreams become a reality. In addition to all the lovely guests I meet I am also grateful to work along side such incredible people that make my job that much more enjoyable. When I am not at The Bird’s Nest you can find me with family and friends relaxing and loving the simple pleasures in life. 

bottom of page