Steffi Gutierrez: A Lesson in Breadologie
One year ago, holding her newborn baby boy, Steffi Gutierrez stepped into a bright storefront with yellow-colored décor and pastries ranging from “cookies n’ cream croissants” to exotic-flavored ensaimadas (a traditional Filipino pastry). Her husband Charles and toddler daughter were there too. It was the grand opening of their new business, Breadologie Bakery, located on Chatsworth Street in Granada Hills.
With their two children, Gutierrez and her husband Charles, who's a baker that learned the tricks of the trade as a teenage apprentice in his native France, welcomed their first customers and Gutierrez remembers thinking: "We're doing this for our kids."
Gutierrez knew that selling their San Diego home and quitting their jobs in order to invest in this project was a risk, but she was confident they would see a return on their investment. She didn’t give herself a choice— either they would make it or give each other the drive to make it.
“I believed in it wholeheartedly,” she recalls. “I already knew it. I told my husband, we’ll be fine. No matter what, we’ll adjust to the trends.”
Six months later, Gutierrez started noticing a big increase in demand. The word started spreading around Granada Hills about the new bakery in town. Residents were curious to try Breadologie's French-inspired Veinnoiseries and Artisan breads and area businesses were placing wholesale orders. Nowadays, their customers come from all over Los Angeles.
“It’s been so busy, we need to breathe. We’re trying to figure out which way to go. Do we move up the street (to a bigger location), do we move this way, do we move that way!?”
Gutierrez and her husband use products made from scratch. They use non-GMO flour in their loaves, hand-crushed California berry compote and fold French butter into their flaky croissants. Plus, the bakery's design, which was led by Gutierrez' creative direction aims to imitate the periodic table of elements with a baker's twist.
“I like how bright yellow is—like a fresh start,” she says.
Gutierrez says opening her own business has allowed her to find the work-life balance that she never felt with her corporate job in the hotel & tourism industry, especially after becoming a mother.
“Something I’ve learned since Charles and I have been together, we’ve had a lot of ups and downs with his work, the recession, our jobs… but when I see my kids here and my daughter is here helping to sweep the floor, you learn it’s all about family. It’s a family thing."
Her advice to other Los Angeles moms who are eager to start their own business but worry about failing: “Go with the flow. Don’t let anything hold you down.”
Breadologie | 17517 Chatsworth Street | Granada Hills, CA 91344 | 818.488.1390