Real Women Doing Real Things: Laurel Gallucci, Founder of Sweet Laurel Bakery

My sister and I did a baking class with Laurel at my house, and hearing her story and watching the love she puts into all her baking makes me even more excited to have her on the site today!  Laurel Gallucci, the brain child behind Sweet Laurel, was once told “you’ll never eat chocolate again” by her doctor after being diagnosed with an aggressive auto-immune disorder.  After months of baking treats for her family and friends that she couldn’t touch, she finally said, “enough is enough” and started tinkering with the ingredients so that she COULD eat all the recipes she was creating. When she shared her grain-free and refined sugar-free goods with friends, they were blown away, and hence, Sweet Laurel was formed.  Here’s what the healthy-baking founder has to say about starting her business…

What inspired you to create Sweet Laurel?

I was diagnosed with an auto immune illness called Hashimoto’s disease in 2012. For the first few years of my diagnosis, I was treated medically and to no avail. Instead of getting better, I got worse! My weight dropped dramatically, I literally had zero energy, and it got so bad I had to quit my job as a school teacher. I was also experiencing secondary amenorrhea (meaning I didn’t get my period)…this was when I realized I really needed help. I turned to working for an integrative medicine doctor. My doctor encouraged me to go completely grain-free, refined sugar-free, legume-free and dairy-free. The idea of healing through food was life changing for me, but I realized there were NO DESSERT options for people like me. Gluten-free desserts were filled with sugar and other fillers that I couldn’t eat. I started working with a few, whole food ingredients, and started tinkering with cake recipes.

Tell us a little about your business.

Sweet Laurel is a grain-free, refined sugar-free and dairy-free bakery based in Los Angeles. We started as an online business three years ago. I started out of my home , delivering cake throughout Los Angeles to homes. They were so popular, we moved to a commercial kitchen and started wholesaling in grocery stores. This year, we opened our cake shop, complete with superfood lattes, coffee and tea!

What advice do you have for aspiring female entrepreneurs?

When you’re starting a business, figure out who your customer is and what need you are fulfilling. Then own it!

What’s been your biggest accomplishment to date?

Giving birth to my son, after doctors had told me it may not be possible, and then starting a business with one of my best friends!

Give us two female founders that you look up to and why.

Candace Nelson (Sprinkles) for doing something so original and so well. My business partner Claire Thomas for being an all-around superstar who has business sav, brains, and the ability to create beauty!

What’s next for Sweet Laurel?

We had so much fun opening our first cake shop, so another store for sure! Also, were releasing our savory cookbook in 2020.

Make sure to follow Sweet Laurel on Instagram!