gmhTODAY 12 gmhToday Jan Feb 2017 - Page 48

requests. Thanksgiving is always bigger than Christmas because people are still into eating. Then, I take a weekend off.” She tries to use themed food for holidays. They close the first two weeks of January when everyone is trying to follow their New Year’s resolutions. “After a few years we realized, it doesn’t make sense to be open, and it’s a good time to take a break after the holiday rush.” Tartaglia said that since the move, the bakery’s business has increased by about twenty-five percent. But being a small business is still extremely difficult. “As soon as you’re getting above water, some new tax or regulation comes out. Instead of helping you, it feels like they want to slap you down. Also, I don’t know why people in small communities don’t support small businesses more.” For example, she buys her coffee from a small local part-time business who can’t even afford to go full-time. But people bring Starbucks coffee cups into her shop, even though she sells gourmet coffee herself. “I had to put my foot down. Until you’ve been in someone’s shoes, you don’t get it.” What’s more, she doesn’t think people understand the benefit of small businesses. “What gives a town its flavor? It’s not Starbucks.” Tartaglia works hard to maintain a strong relationship with the community. While she gets inundated by requests for donations and gift certificates for local fundraisers, she said, “I always donate, but I don’t always feel like I get the support back.” Despite all the struggles of running a small business, Tartaglia treasures the unique relationship with her customers. Her husband says it’s the only business he’s seen where people come in and say, “Thank you for being here.” Tartaglia believes that people who are gluten free feel misunderstood. She’s happy to provide a place where they feel welcome to eat without judgment or questions. “Parents come in and tell their kids ‘You can eat everything here.’ I love seeing that.” “If I wanted to make more money, I would have gone back to corporate America. I’m rich in people around me, but cash poor. I’ve said to my husband, ‘This business has self-actualized me.’ It has given joy to so many people; that’s why I do it. Some days I wake up and ask ‘Why am I doing all this?’ But I start baking cookies, see my customers, and it all goes away. Besides, if I’m not busy, I get bored,” she said, laughing. Goals for Future Tartaglia would like to expand if she had more investors. “I’m looking for a partner because I need someone to get me to the next level.” In the gluten free business, “The hardest thing to do is bread, and it’s the thing I excel at. My goal is to build a name for myself, so someone will want to license the product.” She smiled, saying, “Especially since I’m not 20.” Her products have already garnered much attention, winning some local “best of” recognition as the best small bakery three years in a row, best specialty food in Gilroy for 2015, best lunch and best pizza. Her advice to people about gluten- free products is to be open minded and “Try new things.” Happy New Year 48 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017