Updated: Sep 2, 2021
For some, taking a bold step into the unknown to pursue even the tiniest spark of passion may turn into a lifelong love affair. Such is the case for OWL Bakery founder Susannah Gebhart. Her woman-owned business is a smashing success in an industry historically dominated by men.
One of Gebhart’s first forays into the culinary world came in college while studying anthropology and African-Studies when she worked on an organic garden; it was here where she began dreaming of being part of a food community where she could help others to build knowledge, confidence and alliance around holistic ideas related to health and wellbeing. It was while working at the Montford Walk-In bakery that Gebhart had her ah-ha moment and realized she passionately loved this craft.
That little voice in her head seemed to be saying, “Pursue this… there is No Other Option.”
In August 2014, Gebhart opened the retail storefront of OWL (Old World Levain) Bakery on Haywood Street in West Asheville. At first, Gebhart was somewhat naïve about how to run a business, but she jumped in feet first and began learning as much as she could. Recognizing her focus would be best utilized creating an excellent product, she knew she would need bookkeeping, cash flow help, and a loan. Therefore, she contacted the Carolina Small Business Development Fund and the Western Women’s Business Center (WWBC).
Gebhart received a scholarship to participate in The Best Year Yet workshop offered by the WWBC and met Annice Brown, a successful small business consultant and coach with over 25 years of experience. Working with Brown proved to be a pivotal time in the evolution of OWL Bakery. Today Gebhart is seeing the fruits of her labor and intentions as OWL Bakery continues to grow and gains national recognition. She was recently selected as one of 15 Badass Female Chefs and Restaurateurs You Need to Know Around the U.S. by ZAGAT. Gebhart’s passion for her business, and passion for and within her life, remains positive and upbeat.
For more information about OWL Bakery, visit www.owlbakery.com