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Meet Camilla Gibson of Camilla’s Sourdough in Venice

Today we’d like to introduce you to Camilla Gibson.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
A couple of years ago, I got horribly injured in a surfing accident. I suddenly couldn’t do any physical activity, which was a huge lifestyle change for me. A few months prior, I had visited a friend who happened to be making sourdough for his living community. He invited me to help him out with the dough and I left with a fascination for fermentation. Then while healing from my injury, I made my own sourdough starter and baked bread to keep myself occupied and to share food with my friends and roommates. Making bread is so fun and creative, and it brings so much joy to the people around me that I became obsessed and wanted to master the art. After a while, my bread was getting really good and my friends encouraged me to offer it to the wider community. My boyfriend Udi serendipitously found a beautiful used pizza deck oven on NextDoor, and after he picked it up and installed it for me, I started selling a few loaves of bread once a week at his shop, the Venice Love Shack. The Venice Love Shack is an eclectic furniture and art store that provides creative and community space. It was the perfect place to start selling my bread. Mostly through word of mouth and walk-ins, my humble bread stand slowly grew.

I have recently expanded into a small outdoor organic vegan cafe at the Love Shack! We bake almost 100 loaves of bread per week, in addition to cinnamon rolls, flatbreads, sesame rings, muffins, cookies, croissants, rolls, and rye bricks. We serve toasts with avocado and other house-made toppings such as pestos, herbal tahini, sauerkraut, and pickles. We serve locally roasted and intentionally sourced espresso, loose-leaf teas, ceremonial matcha, cacao, chai, lemonade, and more! Soon we want to start serving warm hummus and soups for winter. It’s been a beautiful journey so far, and I’m excited to see where it goes.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
As relatively smooth as the road has been, I’ve never felt like, “Ah, now I’m ready and I know exactly what I’m doing.” There is always difficulty and trepidation when putting yourself out there and diving into something new and unknown. I feel like I am trust-falling into the universe every day. But there are divine synchronicities along the path that make me feel like I am living out a fractal of my soul purpose.

I have also had an incredible amount of support. My boyfriend Udi has literally helped me build everything I need from my at-home kitchen, to my new bakery and cafe front at the Love Shack. He lays foundations so gracefully and he is such an empowering and inspiring presence. My mom has been a crucial support as well, from discussing the minutia of business accounting to philosophizing about how to effectively and lovingly employ help. My friends and family have given me nothing but loving support.

The biggest struggle for me has been internally. I strive to create the best bread and food that I can. I have a huge amount of enthusiasm and energy and sometimes I go too hard for too long and forget to come up for air. Along the way, I have spent many a sleepless night worrying about my dough and how the next-day’s bake might go. I wake up hours before dawn wondering why I am so crazy, but the first light of dawn and the cracklings of hot beautiful bread moments out of the oven, and the smiles of gratitude on my customer’s faces remind me why I do what I do.

Camilla’s Sourdough – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My food practices are deeply rooted in expressing love and joy, nourishing my soul family, and maintaining the highest level of integrity in quality, intention, and impact. In addition to being extremely delicious, it is very important to me that the food I serve is highly nourishing and good for your body, and therefore the wider ecosystem and the whole planet. Everything at the Bakery and Cafe is Vegan and Organic. The bread we make is all naturally leavened, meaning with wild yeast NOT commercially-produced fast-acting yeast. The fermentation process destroys gluten, releases enzymes, and unlocks the nutrition of Wheat. Every single thing we serve at the cafe is made by hand with love and intention. The ingredients are all fresh, organic, and whole. All the food I serve will make you feel AMAZING! Our intention goes as far as how we dispose of waste. All of our food packaging is biodegradable, and we compost all our organic food scraps at local community gardens. Any extra bread or foods that are still good are distributed to people experiencing homelessness or otherwise hungry folks. We are not just selling food, we are pumping love and consciousness into the ecosystem, and we are building a loving, nourishing community, all while making food ART from our heART!

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Eating watermelon on the back porch and spitting the seeds into the grass while a symphony of cicadas accompanies the warmth of the fading dusk.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

The portrait of me that I used for the “Personal Photo” was taken by Michael Allen. The product photos were taken by me, Camilla Gibson.

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