Today we’d like to introduce you to Sandra Adu Zelli.
Sandra, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started Gipsy Hill Bakery in November 2018, as a five week pop up at The Santa Barbara night market. Which was a way to help support the local retail community in Santa Barbara by offering a European style night market with local businesses during the holiday season. With more than 100 vendors, participating. It was a great opportunity to try the concept to a captive audience.
I’ve been a chef for more than 15 years, and I love what I do, after years of working for other people, I really wanted to try my hand at doing my own thing. It has always been a dream of mine to have a small business where I get to be creative and share that with others. I was on a little sabbatical when a friend offered me the opportunity to be involved with the 5 week holiday pop up in Santa Barbara.
I replied sure sounds like fun, I’ll do it, I think we had about six-eight weeks to get up and running, find a kitchen, create a menu, etc. It was a crazy time, lots of on the job training in a lot more than cooking! It was an incredibly positive and empowering experience and has definitely given me an opportunity to build on.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Overcoming self-doubt and fear that you won’t sell a single item was and is still the hardest challenge,but once in the kitchen and you start making something, and then you see the end result, the doubt then turns to excitement, as then I can’t wait to showcase the food.
Getting up and running was relatively smooth. I had a lot of support and people rooting for me.There were a lot of long days and nights and little sleep in between, but it was also a lot of fun and excitement. Friends and Family were really encouraging and excited for things to go well.
Please tell us about Gipsy Hill Bakery.
Gipsy Hill Bakery is currently a pop up with the aim to share delicious food and baked goods that we love to eat. Living in Santa Barbara, we are so fortunate to have access to wonderful farmers markets and amazing produce.We specialize in European style baked goods and food using local ingredients from our farmers market.
We are known for high quality and creative food, such as giant meringues and organic hand pies, creative vegan options..I’m most proud of the products and the food that we make, I love it when people love the food. I think what sets us apart or what will set us apart from others, is our creativity warmth and passion for great food.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I had to start over, I would have been more bold and done more promotion to get our name out there, being more comfortable with social media for the business is something I’m slowly getting better at.
- Instagram: @gipsyhillbakery