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Life and Work with Andrea Gillespie

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrea Gillespie.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Andrea. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles where every day was centered around the butcher block in my grandparent’s kitchen. In 2009, my husband Mike and I moved to Bixby Knolls, seeking new experiences in an artisanal, food conscious community. After living in New York and falling in love with the local food and bakery scene, I completed the extensive Baking Program at the International Culinary Center (formerly the French Culinary Institute). In each hand-crafted product I knead in my passion for creativity, and craft of creating simple, delicious, sustainable, and preservative-free baked goods.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Opening a business is never easy but I was up for the challenge. Taking a risk and stepping into the world of the unknown is the most nerve wracking feeling. Somedays, you’ll feel defeated, frustrated or overwhelmed but rest assured, it will get better. Things begin to fall into place and you’ll begin to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

– Take your journey to be a business owner one check list at a time. This will keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
– BE ORGANIZED. File things, write yourself daily task list, do your research, and lastly don’t procrastinate.
– If it feels right DO IT! Don’t second guess yourself. More often than not my gut was always right.
– Write a business plan, don’t think you can skate by not having one. This will keep you on track, organized and keep you from straying away from your original plan and vision.
– Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. There are people willing to help. What the worst that could happen?
– Be inspired, don’t try and take someone else’s idea.
– Last but definitely not least, take some time for yourself. Some TLC goes a long way recharging your batteries will make you a better boss.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with The Merchant – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
The Merchant is a coffee/bake shop. Everything is baked in-house the old school way. Our bakers come in the night before and bake into the early morning. Everything you see on the bakery board that morning was all made by hand with high-quality ingredients. It’s on a first come first serve basis. Our customer’s favorites are our cinnamon rolls, cookies, and croissants. We are known for our cinnamon rolls.

When it comes to our coffee, we are proudly partnered with Stumptown Coffee Roasters. Quality and consistency is key to a perfect cup of coffee.

We are here to serve our community!

Do you think there are structural or other barriers impeding the emergence of more female leaders?
Not being taken seriously and being written off as not being knowledgeable enough.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 4121 Long Beach Blvd.
    Long Beach, CA 90807
  • Website:
  • Phone: 562.317.5155
  • Email:
  • Instagram: TheMerchantLB
  • Facebook: TheMerchantLB

Image Credit:

Andrea Gillespie

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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