CAPITOLA, Calif. - If you've ever been to Capitola chances are you've eaten at one of the most famous bakeries on the Central Coast. We’re talking about Gayle’s of course.
Gayle’s Bakery and Rosticceria is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Gayle and Joe Ortiz opened in 1978 as a small, 800-foot bakery in the same location it is now. When they opened, they offered twelve items from their ovens, mostly baked breads and goods.
Today, it’s grown to over 5,000 square feet with a main building where all that good stuff is sold and where people can eat. There’s also a larger building where most everything is prepared and baked. They average around 2,000 people every day, a number that seems pretty extreme but nothing they said they can’t handle.
Co-owner Joe Ortiz said, "I think it started at the top with Gayle in terms of her attitude of being friendly to the customer. She obviously had a vision of, you know, treat people nice, and it's how you put the croissant in the bag and hand it to people that is as important as the product itself.”
"Got a big sweet tooth so I love all the sugar items. The eclairs, tarts, lemon tarts, and I just love coming over and grabbing some goodies and it's a friendly atmosphere too. Everyone is really friendly inside and, yeah, it's a great place to eat,” said San Jose resident, Larry Nardi.
To celebrate their 40th anniversary, they've been counting down with weekly events and specials that they call "Gayle's 40 days of fun." in week one, they knocked down their original twelve items to their original prices from 40 years ago meaning a croissant was 50-cents or a bran muffin was 35-cents. Since then, they've held tours, drawings, samples of new items, and donations to local non-profits. But the grand finale and actual anniversary is Wednesday where they'll unveil their grand prize winner. One lucky customer will be chosen to win a trip for two to Paris! Ortiz said it's just another way of giving back to the community that's helped them flourish over the past 40 years.