Business Couples Secret Sauce

Daniele & Orly Del Castillo - Sasa Sicilian Bakery

December 13, 2020 Marcus Nicholls and Ariel Endean
Business Couples Secret Sauce
Daniele & Orly Del Castillo - Sasa Sicilian Bakery
Show Notes Transcript

Making a complete career change can be a tricky process but ultimately fulfilling if it's switching to something your passionate about. That’s what Daniele & Orly did when they studied for their Chef and Bakery certificates and started sharing their delicious Sicilian street food. Firstly at local Markets and then through opening their own shop/bakery 
“Sasa Sicilian Artisan Bakery”. Have a listen to find out how they did it!

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Some Secret Sauce highlights from this episode:


Selling at the markets gives you a little more freedom because you don't have to pay your own rent each week and only go when you want. So if you want to go on holiday for two months, you can. But I believe if you have a product that is a good one,  a shop is best as it allows you to be more in control of what you do.


There's a reason why normally in kitchens, there is one head chef. There was a time when we had to decide who’s the head chef and who’s in charge of the front of house. We had to choose our different roles. It was a very healthy decision for us at the time. That's when our business and relationship changed for the better. Because before that it was pretty tough.


It’s wise to be quick to change things like processes, or products. When things weren't working and a product or process was taking too much of our time or energy we had to stop making it or adjust the process and move on. 

Marcus Nicholls  0:05  
Hi, we're your hosts Marcus and Ariel and you’re listening to Business Couples Secret Sauce,

Ariel Endean  0:10  
where we interview business couples and share their tips and tricks on building a successful business without it destroying their relationship.

Marcus Nicholls  0:25  
All right, today we are in Ettalong Beach in New South Wales chatting to Daniele and Orly from Sasa Sicilian Artisan bakery. Welcome to the show.

Ariel Endean  0:40  
Yes welcome. Welcome to the show. 

Daniele  0:42  
Thank you very much. 

Ariel Endean  0:43  
Well, look, firstly, I'd like to know how authentic Sicilian streetfood found its way to Ettalong Beach?

Orly  0:52  
That's quite a long story?

Ariel Endean  0:55  
Do the abridged version?

Daniele  0:59  
So yeah, basically, we were looking for, for a space to, you know, to where to start our business. And due to the nature of the business, we had a lot of requirements, technical things like you know, having free phase power, having space for for the oven and blah, blah. So it was very, very hard to find a base on the coast, because the majority were little shops and you know, for kind of small businesses, or if they work in a way that doesn't have a lot of production, so it's more about reselling things. So it took us a lot of time, I would say. But actually, this one was the first place that we saw, because it's very, very close to where we live, only a couple of minutes running from here.

Orly  1:42  
It ticked a lot of boxes, but it was a big investment in the beginning. So we were hesitant for for almost a year to take the space. Yeah. But once we sort of grown to a certain point, and we're ready to launch into full business we jumped in and came here to Etalong.

Daniele  2:00  
It was still expensive.

Ariel Endean  2:03  
And was it always going to be Sicilian food.

Daniele  2:07  
You mean, when we started with a business?

Ariel Endean  2:10  

Daniele  2:10  
Yes. First of all because it was something that was not on the coast. Even if now you can see Cannoli everywhere, if you ask people, the majority, they maybe they've never been to Sicily, never get Cannoli by the old making, because now they are kind of pretty famous thing I would say. Yes, Sicillian was an idea that we had, from the beginning to bring something that was not on the on the coast.

Orly  2:37  
I think so. I mean, if I recollect, Daniela was ready to move into food. And it was a natural move towards Sicilian because it's something he was so familiar with. Something we had realized after living here for a couple of years was missing. Was very hard to find even in Sydney, let alone on the Central Coast. And so it started small, it started just with a with a canola business. But the energy that came from that just led to more and more and bigger and bigger things.

Daniele  3:21  
Anyway, I will say that the curiosity from people, from locals, was very very supportive. They were supportive from the beginning. 

Orly  3:29  
The reaction, the curiosity from locals was fantastic.

Ariel Endean  3:32  
I would add that it's also becasue your food is delicious.

Daniele  3:35  
Thank you, thank you. I'm pretty sure that also at the beginiing a lot of our customers in the beginning they traveled and you know, to Sicily. They've been there so it was kind of a good way for them to come back here and be able to deal with with a real Sicilian kind of like living back their, their trip. So they were very, very kind of curious to go back and to see. Yeah, so there was a demand for products. "I went to Sicily two years ago when we found this products in the shop so why don't you start making it too.

Ariel Endean  4:04  
And your Sicilian by birth?

Daniele  4:07  
Absolutley. I was born there and I lived there for the first 10 years of my life and then I moved to Milan and I grew up there with my with my family. But then every summer it was three months back in Sicily.

Ariel Endean  4:20  
Well, I'm glad you're here in Ettalong Beach.

Daniele  4:21  
Thank you.

Marcus Nicholls  4:23  
Orly was there anything that you would like to add to that in how you ended up here?

Orly  4:31  
It's a much longer storythan that. It started off with Daniela being the catalyst for us to go into a career change. I too was a little bit sick of commuting to Sydney. I'd done my stint in my old career of graphic design and loved food as a as a hobby and loved pastries and when he mentioned he wanted to maybe go to TAFE and do get a chef certificate, I was like, well, I'm gonna do pastry, why not and I did a retail baking certificate at the same time, but as a hobby. I thought it was just going to be a hobby. And then Daniela started playing around with sourdough at home and thinking, I'm going to dive in there and start a little cannoli business, go to markets, you know, play with that. Be as creative as I can with that. And, of course, as a graphic designer, I go very much involved in the branding and design of the stall and, and we found ourselves working together markets and selling, and it just took over.

Daniele  5:50  
Going back to your question, why Ettalong Beach, I think it's because I was aware from the beginning that it would have been a lot, a lot of hours when we started, because it's very demanding very physical. And you know, especially when a new kind of artists and things, you know, maybe 80 years ago, they didn't care about time, because they had a lot of time and a lot of distraction like today. So I knew that it would have been a very, very long, long hours. So that's why we decided that's even one of the reason why we took this place, because we want to stay very, very close to home. Because I didn't even want to drive. I think there was at some stage that the option of getting something in kincumber. But it was another 12 minutes drive. You know, I said no, I'm worried that you know, at the beginning, a little time was up. Did we turn on the oven? What about the fridge? Did I close the door? What about the cool room? So I didn't like the idea of every time whenever to drive 20 minutes to check this things would have been hard? 

Ariel Endean  6:42  
Ettalong Beach is beautiful. We're a couple of 100 meters from the ocean. It's such a pretty part of the world as well.

Daniele  6:50  
But we have to say that the first year and a half, I mean, we work 20 hours, 18 hours a day each. So I was also taking a sleeping on the on the fridge. Sometimes. Yeah. Nice and cold. In Summer, so we didn't enjoy that much of the beach, but it's definitely a beautiful spot in the world.

Ariel Endean  7:08  
Right. I think that's probably caught up about 10% of your whole big story. This gives us a bit of an idea of you know, who you are and how you been here. I love it.

Marcus Nicholls  7:19  
So you mentioned starting out in markets, having a stall at the markets and things like that, before you eventually went into a shop. How was that transition? And was it obviously a deliberate transition? And has is one better than the other? Do you think running markets and just being in that space versus running a shop? What How do you compare the two? And what do you think is the better of them?

Ariel Endean  7:44  
Because there's a lot of people out there that are doing markets that are thinking should I do that or not?

Orly  7:51  
Can I start. So you must understand there were two concurrent products that sort of started developing at the same time. One was the canola and the other was the sourdough bread. And so the process is quite different. And the the space needed to produce them was quite different, etc. So when we started with markets, taking canola to the markets was was very easy, very practical, or something we could do in a little rented commercial kitchen. And then take. It was something we could do on weekends. We could still run our our other business or still consult with the graphics and photography, like we were doing before. Whereas, the bread was going to be long hours in production & early hours.

Daniele  8:46  
I think that also one of the reason is the fact we were doing markets and while of course, as I told you three years ago, they were no cannoli's on the coast. So basically was very, very easy for us to access different markets, while every market we would going for the fact that a lot of times, of course market organizers, they want to keep everyone happy every time you get someone selling bread. So when we started to go into bread making, there was no space for us in. In every market, we were doing like them because they were all kind of taking the spots. So the only reason might not be on the reason. But let's say when we said okay, it looks like people they love our bread. So what are we going to do? Back then there was not even the option of saying can we  bring the bread to the markets. So if we wanted to sell Bread we had necessarily to look for another for another place, where to go and where to start selling it.

Orly  9:33  
We also we couldn't produce it anymore in a rented kitchen or from home. So we needed a legitimate production space to do that. And so when we first started when we were doing the two products and then started obviously developing other products like pastries we were still attending markets. So we were doing production here and wholesale from from the shop here and markets on the weekends. Evening markets all around New South Wales.

Ariel Endean  10:10  
Pretty crazy.

Orly  10:11  
What else? And we started to retail from here as well with maybe a couple of girls selling from our shop on the weekends. And so we were spread really thin.

Daniele  10:23  
As you can see, we love to talk because I'm Italian and my wife says so. But going back to the original question, I would say, would we just stay in markets and open a shop? I think that they are two different experience. I think that personally markets, maybe gives you this kind of idea that you have a little more freedom, because you know, you don't have to pay your own rent and so you don't have to pay your own rent, you just go there whenever you want. If you want to go on holiday for two months, you can do it. But personally, I think that if you have a product that is a good one, I think a shop allows you to be more in control of what you do. Especially something that we noticed, especially for me coming from Italy, which you know, normally in Italian cities, we have a market every day. And normally our markets that go longer than the than just the few hours that are normally here. So something that we noticed right away, especially with our products we were doing connoli was that a lot of times the best hours was for us, you know, normally markets, hear are open, maybe for 8am to 2pm. So no one goes for cannoli 8am in the morning. So when it was time for our cannoli to pick up was normally the time which the market was closing. So even though you know, normally during lunchtime, we were ours, you know, our trailer was basically empty, because everyone was eating and then when it was time for us was timing, which the market was kind of closing. So we were more active in this moment in which the kind of the magic of the markets and all the basically kind of gone. So even this one was another thing that we said, okay, you know, our product maybe needs more time, because someone wants cannoli at five or six or four or three so we need a little bit more freedom. So I think that if your product is a good one, is a strong one, I think that having a shop gives you a little bit more freedom. And I think that it's even cost wise in the end. I think the markets are very, very good because you can you can test your product. But then at the end of the day, every markets, even if you maybe say okay, I'm just gonna pay a few $100 to attend and then I got my freedom, it's really a lot of hours, because every time you have to pack, you have to unpack, you have to go and you have to go there two hours before they open. So in the end, I mean, if you give from day one, your hours cost may be something that people didn't do in the beginning, because they were excited by the idea. And the end of the day. It's it's a lot of hours of work. 

Ariel Endean  12:47  
And then ther's wet weather days.

Daniele  12:49  
Exactly. Correct. So this is something that I mean, I you know, we're still discussing, I would say after maybe the second market we were doing. So it took us one year, but we were kind of aware of this kind of thing from the beginning. So that was something that have been in our minds.

Ariel Endean  13:06  
It's interesting, because they are different things and people are in that position and think about taking the big step. And you know, obviously, it's more of a time commitment. You can't do your old job. So once you do commit to a shop unless it's under management, I guess.

Daniele  13:19  
But again, for example, it depends, because then of course, then we had a lot of friends, but even for us a lot of times you think, okay, I'm just gonna work one day, a week, two weeks ago, and then I have the freedom. But still, if your product then is good, and you work, you have a lot of prep to do at home or in a rented kitchen. So in the end, you're still working full time. Right.

Ariel Endean  13:39  
Yes - It's not just the one day you are at the markets. That's great. Well, I'm curious  what your roles are in the business, and how you worked this out? And whether or not they've changed over time as well.

Orly  13:54  
They have changed a great deal. Our role's in the business the way that I see it is I'm in charge of front of house. It's presentation to do with clients, to someone manage our sales assistant's. And yeah, what else? Keeping the front space welcoming.

Ariel Endean  14:32  
And you were saying as well that you were critical to the development of the brand, and that's ongoing as well as labeling your products.

Orly  14:39  
 Of course, of course, yeah, all the styling.

Daniele  14:42  
Yeah, well I'm more in charge of the production. But when we started we were both because both excited about the production side so we both started in production, but after a while it was a little bit tricky to you know, to survive. You know, there's a reason why normally in kitchens, there is one head chef and not two head chefs, because you need one chef. So there was a time in which we had to decide who wants to be the head chef. And we had to do it in this way, having two different roles, I think it was very, very healthy. That's when our business changed as well, our relationship as well, because before was pretty, pretty tough. And you know, both coming from kind of artistic fields, we are both pretty opinionated with our ideas. So not a lot of time, remember, in the morning was discussing maybe 30 minutes on the shape of the croissant  and definitely, you don't have to waste all your time on that. So that's why you need one person saying the croissant is going to look like that and you're done. Now you're in charge of selling and making everything beautiful and presented well. I think that's very, very healthy. So that's when it changed.

Ariel Endean  15:51  
Yeah, and I mean, it makes sense timewise because as you're saying you're wasting time, when two of you are working on one job. Apart from the contention of it you just  lost half an hour, that you could have been doing front of house while you just went the shapes is going to be this and you're done.

Daniele  16:05  
Absolutely. And then, as you'll notice, again, I repeat, we'd really love to talk. So it was really a lot of talking about stupid things. Really, if I think back now it was really a waste of time.

Orly  16:16  
You say talking I call it arguing! Talking very loudly. It's a little bit cultural.

Daniele  16:26  
Yeah, I mean, I'm here in this complex, we got a motel up there. So remember, it was 2am in the morning, 3am and we were literally screaming at each other Italian style. 

Orly  16:36  

Daniele  16:37  
So yeah, I think that was tough. For our relationship more than that business. Who cares about the business.

Ariel Endean  16:46  
Working out where your role is in the business is just part of the process really. Sometimes it's very obvious because, you know, it plays to that person's strength, and obviously, Orly you would develop the brand, because you're the graphic designer, and I imagine if you were taking photos of the products, then thats you Daniele.  You do try to play the previous skills but then as you're saying, when you're both excited about something and you're both enjoying doing it or learning and trying to work out where it fits, and how it changes over time to as the business develops as well.

Daniele  17:15  
 Of course. 

Orly  17:16  
Yeah. And there was a lot of passion behind it. 

Daniele  17:20  
Yeah, normaly you argue when you're passionate about something. So it's normally a good sign, because it shows interest and passion. But after these things keep coming up you need to stop and you need to keep showing pssionate you are about things.

Orly  17:35  
We did realize our strengths and weaknesses. So for example, I can get lost in the detail, because I like to perfect things and style them. Whereas Daniella is much more just functional. He's great at leading and timing and making sure everything moves and keeps moving smoothly. And so that was a source of contention. So yeah, we had to factor that in.

Ariel Endean  18:09  
Generally speaking it works best when you meet somewhere in the middle with that, because too much detail is too much but too little detail is not enough. So usually the perfect balance is when you can find your way back to some sort of middle spot with it, which is what seems to naturally happen.

Orly  18:10  
Yeah, Luckily we have sort of similar aesthetics.

Daniele  18:30  
And also, I would say that I was absolutely trusting her completely in what she was doing. So it's just not that I had to check. I'm pretty sure that's the same with Orly.

Orly  18:44  

Daniele  18:41  
And I think that's very rare and you know, in our case, we are a couple so of course, there is a lot of things mixing in but I think that every time you have a business and you have a partner it's key, the fact that you have to trust the other one, because it's going to be a moment in which you have to start delegating, and if you don't trust the other person, it's really absolutely fundamental. Also even if you can say something, something that they told me when I was younger, and I started making my own business every time they were saying you know, "Every time you're gonna have a business the number of partners normally needs to be an odd number and three is already too much". Something that I can't share. But Business Couples count as one! 

Orly  19:13  
United as one. 

Marcus Nicholls  19:42  
We have interviewed some couples where they actually have a a third person who is the adjudicator. So if you can't come to an agreement. If you come to loggerheads with each other and you can't decide and you can't work it out between you, you put it out to the third person that both you trust their opinion, both of you trust immensely and you're willing to accept whatever that person says.

Ariel Endean  20:07  
We haven't done that. Different things work for different people. What we came to is if one of us is against something, and the other one is for it, we metric it. So if someone's like, 100% wants to do something, and the person's like, 50% I don't think that's a very good idea it's like you win if you're that into it. Or if I'm 100% not or even 80% against it, and you're like, 20% for it we try to find who's the most passionate either disbeliever or believer in this thing/idea. And the person that's the most passionate and sure, Gut instinct, whatever you want to call it, it's like, Okay, well go your way.

Daniele  20:44  
I think that even in this I mean, trusting the other person is key because you know that  you can give up trust knowing that they would never jeopardize the business or put it at risk. So it's okay. Right.

Orly  20:50  
Yeah. Absolutley.

Ariel Endean  21:01  
I love it. I mean, that's part of the thing being a business couple is you'll never employ someone that will be as invested as you and having your back and working as hard and caring as much. Yeah, even your A triple plus staff and never gonna be there with you like your partner is.

Daniele  21:18  
Maybe this third person that chooses above the two could be the silent partner. The one that put the money in. Otherwise it would be very, very hard to listen to someone else I rekon.

Orly  21:28  
Yeah, an external. Yeah I agree. 

Daniele  21:30  
Interesting. Yeah. Next business maybe we can think about it.

Marcus Nicholls  21:35  
What's the best or worst thing about being a business couple?

Daniele  21:43  
Do you want to say the best or the worst.?

Orly  21:50  
 Let me think. 

Daniele  21:48  
I would say that it's a bet. So I think that it's one of the biggest bet that you can take as a couple. I think one of the of the good thing is that if you will manage to go through all the hard things that are gonna happen, you know, that your couple, your relationship is really gains a lot. So you know, that your bases are more more solid. I think that's a good thing. The bad thing, of course, I would say that (it didn't happen to us) but I think there was a moment in which before that kind of separation that we talked about before, in which we decided to be in charge on one side, and the other side that you can see on the radio. But as you can see here, it's physically separated. So there is not even eye contact between the two sections, I would say that one of the risk would have been that the risk that you lose your relationship. We kind of say straight away from the beginning, say, you know, when we started, we say, let's remind ourselves that whatever is gonna happen is just business. So if at some stage, we're going to fight, and we're going to think that we can control it more, we sell it, we close it, but our relationship come first. Okay. I think that sometimes maybe the risk could be that if you lose that kind of perspective, then you start thinking that your relationship is the business.

Marcus Nicholls  21:58  

Daniele  21:58  
And you know,

Ariel Endean  22:00  
Worst case scenario is you lose your relationship.

Daniele  22:15  
We have friends and these things have happened. Because, you know, you're so involved, it could be depths, it could be whatever it is, I would say that maybe this could be one of the worst things. 

Ariel Endean  23:27  
Oh, definitely. 

Daniele  23:28  
Yeah. Now you have to give a different answer

Ariel Endean  23:34  
Did you do a best Daniele?

Daniele  23:35  
Yeah, the best thing is that, if it works out, you're gonna be strong.

Ariel Endean  23:39  
Yeah. That's right - A much stronger relationship.


Orly  23:43  
And you get to share your passions. I mean, hopefully you're going into a business that you're passionate about, because you're gonna spend 24 seven if not, at the business working in the business, thinking about the business, planning the next day. Talking. It comes up in conversation at the dinner table. It's always with you. But if you're passionate about that business, you get to share that with someone who has that same energy?

Ariel Endean  24:19  
We're sharing a dream? That you turn into a reality.

Orly  24:25  
And if you manage to to be successful, or you get to enjoy even those little successes together and have someone to share that with it's wonderful.  It does make you stronger, but it keeps you going and keeps you passionate, as well.

Ariel Endean  24:45  
Well, it adds layers to your relationship, doesn't it? Like you're holding hands opening the shop for the first time? How cool is that? That's a moment in your life together and your relationship together.

Orly  24:57  
Even though we've worked together in the past on different projects so we knew coming into this we have a little bit of experience of working together, we could do this. We had a bit of confidence in that.

Daniele  25:09  
No but we definitely underestimated the power of having a bakery together compared to doing you know occasional photos and graphics together.

Orly  25:16  
This became our first baby.

Ariel Endean  25:20  
Yeah, absolutely.

Orly  25:21  
You know, it has been our life for the last two years.

Ariel Endean  25:25  

Orly  25:28  
And, I can't speak for Daniella, but it's one of the things I'm most proud of, in my days in my career that I've created.

Marcus Nicholls  25:36  
it is interesting, because it's, it's only something that people who are in business fully understand is that idea that when you've actually gone there, and you've created it, it is your baby. Yeah. And it's only people in business can actually understand that. People outside of business don't understand. Some people say "Why are you calling it a baby?". It doesn't have two legs and all the rest of it. 

Ariel Endean  26:07  
It's just as demanding

Orly  26:10  
We dreamt this up. We named it we. Yeah, we put a face on? 

Daniele  26:19  

Orly  26:19  
We took it step by step as we grew the buisness.

Daniele  26:22  
We bought a lot of toys as well for this baby.

Ariel Endean  26:28  
Yeah, exactly. Very expensive equipment/toys.

Orly  26:31  
Yeah, more than just, you know, money and energy. But everything.

Ariel Endean  26:37  
So I'm curious what your current biggest challenge is in running this business? And how are you tackling it?

Daniele  26:47  
You can answer

Orly  26:48  
I'll current challenge. And this has been the challenge from the beginning. So when we decided that our dreams were too big for just the two of us, we wanted to do too much here. And we needed staff that became our greatest ongoing problem finding either qualified staff or reliable staff or consider we also had the expectation that they would put in everything like Dan and I have and as much energy as we have.

Daniele  27:31  
Unfortunately, I would say that being a skilled profession, unfortunately, it's something that we we face every day. Yeah, it's very, very hard to find persons that know about this. 

As in sourdough?

Orly  27:49  
In general.

Bcause we've really got a niche niche product and niche business. 

Daniele  27:53  
Like croissant making or pastry making in general it's very, very hard to find skilled people. And you know I think that new generations and I'm talking like an old man, but I mean, that young persons don't want to work hard. It's really something that is very, very challenging. So for the fact that they are again, like you would say living creatures, you know, when you make a croissant or you make sourdough is something that keeps changing, you know every time you make them. I didn't understand these things from the beginning, but it really depends on the day, it depends on the temperature. So it requires that extra kind of knowledge and passion that unfortunately is not something that you can learn at school or it is just like, you know, doing something that comes out of the bag kind of pre-prepared almost that you only have to add water and putting it tin and putting in the oven and it's done. It's something that being artisinal it really requires that extra skill that comes with time. So it's very, very hard to find persons that are willing to challenge themselves in order to to spend and have that that extra time and the frustration that comes from making something that even if you started and you know and from our experience it still takes time to get good. Even if you already studied everything and you got your certificate then you read everything then it's time to do it. There's going to be a lot of failure a lot of things so it's very very hard to find persons said that wants to go through this process.

Ariel Endean  29:24  
How are you Batman obviously a few years in I would hope for your sakes I guess that you how you tackle that you working out how to work that out. It's all right. Well, he's

Daniele  29:35  
gonna answer

Orly  29:36  
Yeah, sure. So So unfortunately, Australia has very few educated artisan bakers. I mean, it's it's new to us here in Australia. And because of different political reasons, there's you know, so many trained immigrants and so there's a shortage of artisanal bakers, I think throughout Australia.

Daniele  30:06  
And then especially in those rural areas. 

Orly  30:08  
Even living in a regional area, like the Central Coast, which attracts people with perhaps a mindset of wanting a sea change.

Daniele  30:19  
Living the dream,

Orly  30:20  
Living the dream. living a more relaxed lifestyle, rather than than working laborious and working hard.

Daniele  30:26  
And unfortunately, there are no shortcuts. Unfortunately, for this kind of sourdough doesn't have any shortcut.

Orly  30:33  
So the way for us to get around that, of course, is to train. So what we search for are passionate chefs or Yeah, generally generally chefs, I think. Because they are the most appropriate for our business, because maybe they have a little more attention to detail.

Daniele  30:57  
Ideally it would be bakers.

Orly  30:59  
Idealy it would be bakers but yeah, they're the most willing to learn and curious to learn. 

Daniele  31:09  
So the question was, what would I tackle is, it's a, it's a pretty long process of training and pretty frustrating because it's very, very hard to think about expanding. That means offering more to your clientele, to your community, the loss, what you do, and a lot of times that I have to say that they're very, very supportive. And I'm pretty sure that now they're kind of understanding, but at some times, they don't get why it's hard. Like, they will say you just sold out of your bread why don't you do more? And I say, you know, no, no, no, yeah, I noticed that we sell out. But you know, why don't you open seven days a week? Why don't you Okay, you get croissant. But I have some what, when did you start doing this kind of pastry? Because unfortunately, still, I have to say that it's, yeah, it's very, very hard to. And even if we know we are aware of the fact that delegating and having other person is the key in order to, unfortunately, we've been lucky, sometimes we are finding persons, but even the nature of people coming to the coast. And I don't want to go political, like Orly mentioned, but we could if you want to, but I don't have to. The thing is that a lot of times there are people just coming here for two months, three months, or people just needing that kind of little money and then getting nine months off just surfing, that is good. It's beautiful. But I said that I said the beginning, unfortunately, those kind of jobs that require passion that require time, because they're no shortcuts, unfortunately,

Ariel Endean  32:43  
gosh, it sounds like a bit of a work in progress. But if it's any comfort, every single business person I've ever spoken to says finding staff and keeping good staff is not only a challenge, but an ongoing challenge.

Orly  33:02  
We had been warned. Because we spoke to other business owners before we started our business. And they said staff is the greatest challenge. You know, you can budget, you can build your business in a correct way and not over invest, etc, etc. But finding, training and keeping good staff will always be a challenge. 

Daniele  33:18  
The thing for us, is that something so you know, we keep basically talking about this oversight every day. So I would say that the things that we're talking about now, the most of this kind of things is the fact that personally, you know, I realized that and I can see a lot of bakeries, you know, doing that is the kind of product. So we could work in order to start doing different products. But what I know is and you know, for us will be pretty easy. I mean, it's not that hard. The thing is that I know that this would affect the community because now that we have some products that people they love, and we are really that was makes is our drive, to really have people coming here and being happy about those products. But it's very, very hard because in the long term, it basically everything on us and is it's very, very hard. you know. I'm not in my 20s anymore, luckily for me on the podcast you can't see that, but it's a very physical job. So it's hard unfortunately. For the fact that there is a lot of demands for our products it's very, very easy to to keep kind of expanding and doing more and more and more. But again, unfortunately without help it's just not possible. So I think that the future it's gonna be unfortunately is going to be to scale scale down because theres no other way.

Ariel Endean  34:39  
Or developing products that don't require such a high skill level.

Daniele  34:42  
Unfortunately, you know there are a lot of cafes in the area and what they do is of the majority of times that they buy someone product. It is just basically buying and reselling. But I would say that one of our strength is the fact that people and that's great that they noticed. They think we are doing something magical. And what I keep telling is we're not doing anything magical. We're just doing croissant using three ingredients. Just doing bread using three ingredients. You know what I mean?

Ariel Endean  35:08  
I haven't had a croissant yet, but I've had the cannoli and I drive from where I am to here. It's like a half hour drive, no problems at all.

Daniele  35:19  
And you know that people they do that. And unfortunately, you know, when you sell out and you get people coming super excited, and you say, I'm sorry, its hard. It's not that we don't know that we could sell more. It's just that physically, we can't produce anymore. And it's sometimes a little bit said, personally.

Marcus Nicholls  35:36  
You can also use that a little bit to your strengths. Saying that we make a certain  amount and once we're sold out, we're sold out, so you know when you arrive here today, you're not getting your product that was made yesterday. You're getting a product that was made today.

Daniele  35:50  
I know, I know. And it's good for us as a business owner. That's why we're not complaining. But you know, if you look at it my from my point of view, you are always a service providers. So ideally you want people answering and being happy knowing that they don't have to come at 8am in the morning in order to find all the pastries or sometimes you know, you already come here 10.30 half all the pastries are gone, and people say "why don't you do more of these?" And I say, because I'm one person!

Orly  36:19  
We also dreamt of opening another retail shop because we have a lot of customers who drive from Matcham, Terrigal, Wyong even from Bateau Bay.

Daniele  36:31  

Orly  36:33  
And we would love to service the other side of the coast. 

Daniele  36:36  
And people they keep saying "Why don't you come here? There's nothing here". And we know that, but unfortunately is not going to happen.

 Particularly if you want to keep the quality. 


Marcus Nicholls  36:46  
You can do it without keeping the quality but if quality is fundamental to yourself it's hard to expand without quality staff.

Daniele  36:54  

Ariel Endean  36:55  
I'm confident you guys will work out whichever way forwards it work best that doesn't require you to be at the coalface every day. I'm sure.

Daniele  37:04  
Thanks. We need this kind of support.

Marcus Nicholls  37:08  
How has being a business couple changed the relationship and in what ways?

Orly  37:18  
It's made us stronger. We've learned a lot more about it each other. Side of each other that we didn't get to see when we were working for other companies. We would get back home at nightime and you know, relay the day but we didn't see each other in a professional environment and how's it changed? The first year was hard and put a lot of pressure on the relationship.

Daniele  37:49  
A lot.

Orly  37:49  
 Yeah as we said we were finding our feet and finding our roles within the business. And it was very physically demanding and was very tough on us. 

Daniele  38:04  
Personally for me it helped a lot because I really I am not scared now what life is gonna throw at us because you can think a lot of things like "I can be in business and it's going to be successfull" But really the experience of a bakery especially such a physical job it's, you know hard. I never tried luckily anything but I can't see how it can be worse than what it was the first year. It was really really a lot. It was the Italian style passionate arguing and developing and...

Orly  38:41  
physically exhausting. We were working six or seven days a week, up to 18 hours a day. 

Daniele  38:50  
So we don't have any kids. But you know, sometimes people say no, you're not gonna sleep that much. And I was saying I wasn't able to get sleep either at the bakery and I didn't have a lovely creature that then look at you and smiles you know what I mean? It was just croissant coming out of the oven. So personally I think that it gave us personal strength. I mean it made us ready. yeah, yeah.

Ariel Endean  39:10  
Well what doesn't break you makes you stronger.

Daniele  39:13  
That's what they say.

Ariel Endean  39:13  
I like the idea of with metal in the fire it hardens it. You know if you could make yourself get through that fire it's like comes out tougher and stronger the other end, though I hadn't thought about it in the view that it meant you future proofed yourself because it's like "yeah, we can do this! We can tough out anything together. 

Orly  39:32  
Yeah, together. Yeah,

Daniele  39:33  
And even now I think that yeah, it also was very very good because before I think like the majority of couples you know, working in different companies then when its night and you come home its this time of always staying together, blah, blah. I think something that helped us is that now we are aware and I'm pretty sure that this is going to help in the future. We are not worried to stay alone apart from each other. So we can easily stay one hour or two hours by ourself insead of together without unnecessarily needing to tell each other. I'm pretty sure that in 20 or 30 years that is going to be a great skill, right?

Orly  39:34  
And we have plenty to talk about over dinner. You know how sometimes you go to a restaurant and you see those couples who just sit there eating and not conversing and you think awwww that's sad.

Ariel Endean  40:21  
Was there any point in time that you were considering walking away from the business or the relationship?

Daniele  40:27  
Do you mean in the last day, the last week and the last hour? hahaha.

Ariel Endean  40:32  
It sounds to me if it was gonna happen, it would have happened in the first year of your bakery. 

Orly  40:37  
Not in the relationship. No, I don't think we considered that. It wasn't rocky. It was just exhausting, which led us to a lot of bickering, etc. But no. Stepping away from the business? There are moments where that enters your head, but rather than than taking any kind of drastic moves, that you're gonna regret it's better to adapt. And this was all from Daniele. He drove us to be quick to change things like processes, or

Daniele  41:17  
products even

Orly  41:18  
Products and things that weren't working. Things that would take too much of our time or energy, and move on. You know rationally, as a business person to evolve the business and say we've got a problem. Okay, well, we've got wholesale and retail going at the same time. They've both got their challenges. They don't work together very well. One's got to go.

Daniele  41:41  
We're pretty quick into it and I think the future, so whoever is going to listen at the moment is our customer. We need to listen to our customer. And I think it's going to be the future. We know that the way to save Sasa is not being basically too afraid to do drastic changes. And I have to say that from this point of view, our community has been very, very, very supportive,

Orly  42:00  
Very supportive, Very understanding.

Daniele  42:02  
And a lot of times that, you know, I keep joking with them and saying, you know, maybe when I say one day we're going to close, or we're not gonna make bread anymore, and you know, we need to go on holiday. They all say, yeah, no worries, go away for two months. It's better having you going for two months than you shut down completely. And this is a great thing that pushes us in order to say, okay, so before having the drastic idea, let's find new ways. Maybe we're going to drop this, we're going to close one day. Maybe we're just going to work this many hours.

Ariel Endean  42:31  
That's how you brought you 18 hour days down to managable hours.

Orly  42:35  

Daniele  42:36  
Yeah. And so I think this is the same.

Ariel Endean  42:39  
It's working smarter, not harder. And understanding your market because you can't know all these things in advance. You can't read about it. You only learn these learn these things by doing and adjusting and changing and trying new things.

Daniele  42:52  
And this, I think was our mistake at the beginning for the fact that we didn't know the market and you know, was coming from have an idea of a bakery in Europe. We started doing a lot of things, trying to please everyone but then I think if I should start again, now, it would be a straight away. "I'm sorry, this is what we do. I'm really sorry. No, we don't do that."

Ariel Endean  43:16  
So we do that really well. Yeah, exactly.

Daniele  43:18  
Yeah! Exatly. I would say definitley knowing your market and not being to afraid to upset people. Even especialy small commuities like that because it's really understanding and working together in order to make sure the business is going to stay here for a long time.

Marcus Nicholls  43:43  
That's great. What would you recommend to other business couples? As in what do you feel is your secret sauce? So what's your tips, tricks, ideas that you would recommend to another business couple. Either a couple going into business together for the first time or a couple thats in business at the moment that could benefit from your expereince.

Daniele  44:06  
More from the relationship side? 

Marcus Nicholls  44:07  
Yeah. From a relationship or from a business couple perspective. Building that  componentry of how you deal with that from a couple point of view? 

Ariel Endean  44:20  
One hot tip.

Orly  44:25  
Either delegating or keeping to not necessarily entirely separate roles, but using each other's strengths to find two roles in the business.

Ariel Endean  44:38  

Daniele  44:38  
Yeah. Thats a good one

Orly  44:39  
Let's find a balance.

Daniele  44:41  
That's a good one. Yeah, I would say basically, Yeah, I agree with her. That's the best tip and yeah, just understand the strengths and maybe you have your your week before in which you write down all your weaknesses and all your strengths. Yeah,

Ariel Endean  45:02  
That would also help you work out in advance where you're going to be in the relationship to, if you actually properly sit down and work that out.

Daniele  45:09  
I think that will be a great thing. 

Orly  45:14  
Sleep. Get get some good sleep.

Ariel Endean  45:16  

Orly  45:17  
No No - Even generally once you run your business.

Daniele  45:23  
And I will say you're sharing with, you know, I'm Italian. So I come from from a different culture. So you know, we don't have a lot of this kind of sharing culture that you have more in Australia. But I would suggest, yeah, don't be afraid to share with your community, whatever happens, because in the end, they're going to be the ones supporting you. So it's not a big city. It's not that you can kind of so don't be afraid to say, "I'm sorry, this week, our croissant are a little bit crappy because I made this mistake. I'm sorry!" I'm pretty sure that they will understand more than pretending you know that something didn't happen. All these kind of things. I think being humble and if you're lucky enough to have a community, like the one that we have that really support us, personally, I wouldn't be so patient with my Baker. Like that. So I really, that'd be great. I think, yeah, don't be Don't be afraid to share. Sometimes you can also have interesting feedback from them. So it happens to me a lot of times in which I was saying, Yeah, you know, this time, these things is not coming properly, you know, we change bother, or we change this and they say, "No, no, it's okay." Or" maybe Yeah, you're right. It's really great.

Orly  46:28  
So share. Yeah. And then before, before we even start, do, you know, do a good business plan to try and minimize risk, like, things stuck in order in order to reduce the stresses on on your business and therefore your relationship? So whether it's budgeting or not over investing? For us taking it step by step, we also understood what each other was going to do within the business, each other's interest in how much we wanted to get involved in the business.

Ariel Endean  47:12  
Yeah, I think a business plan was is fantastic advice. And also to revise that every, quarter or six months or 12 months. Every 12 months minimum. Yeah, the idea of working out your strengths and weaknesses and having a business plan those two things and maps really.

Orly  47:28  

Ariel Endean  47:29  
You're right it minimizes risk. And what you're talking about is whether or not the venture you launch into or you found yourself in as a business couple survives or not. 

Daniele  47:37  

Ariel Endean  47:38  
Very good advice. Very good secret sauce.

Marcus Nicholls  47:40  
That's it. Absolutely.

Daniele  47:41  
Thanks. Thanks.

Marcus Nicholls  47:42  
So for a bit of fun we have some dice and some random questions. So whoever would like to go first.

Orly  47:49  
Orly first.

Ariel Endean  47:51  
They do take off these dice. So don't throw with to much force.

Marcus Nicholls  47:54  
Otherwise we'll be trying to find under the the table somewhere. 

Question 9!

Daniele  48:00  

Ariel Endean  48:04  
Oh, it's me. I'm sorry. You know what? I just looked at this question and I thought I love this question and we haven't asked it in a while. Who is the dreamer and who is the practical one?

Daniele  48:18  
That's easy to answer.

Orly  48:20  
So I would say I'm the dreamer and Daniella is the practical one. But he has big dreams too. I'm maybe the little more flighty, fantasy kind of dreamer. But Daniella, I think sees the bigger picture way before I do. So I'd describe him as a dreamer as well. 

Ariel Endean  48:51  
You can both be dreamers.

Daniele  48:52  
Yeah. And Orly puts all the colours around the picture. Right? 

Orly  48:58  

Daniele  48:59  

Ariel Endean  48:59  
I love that. You colour the dreams in!

Daniele  49:02  

Marcus Nicholls  49:04  
That's great. 

Daniele  49:05  
It's now my turn. 

Ariel Endean  49:10  

Marcus Nicholls  49:12  
Okay. If you had a time machine, would you go back and make changes to your business or would you go forward and see where your business ended up or would you pass on the offer?

Daniele  49:27  
No, I would pass on the offer. I've always passed on the offer in my life. I'm happy with what we did. I think it's part of the reason why we're here. So I wouldn't change anything. 

Orly  49:37  
I'm really surprised at your answer.

Ariel Endean  49:39  
And you wouldn't want to go forward? So definitely not going back. That's 100%.

Daniele  49:42  
No no, no, no. I think the secret in life it's about business life. I think it's enjoying the present, whatever you have, whatever comes and, you know, really so personally, I was stay where I am and enjoying everything. I'm also the kind of person that I am I really like to kind of believe that I'm the one building my future. So I'm pretty sure that I could see whatever I want. 

Ariel Endean  50:09  
Great answer. How about you Orly? Time machine for you?.

Orly  50:14  
Yeah, there are plenty of things I would change in the business. Things that were small obstacles along the way.

Marcus Nicholls  50:26  
 So you would definitely go back to work towards changing things.

Orly  50:29  
Oh, yeah. If you could take your knowledge back I think it'd be like Back to the Future when he invests in property and then becomes a billionaire. Yeah, I think I could go back and make some small changes and maybe get us here a little bit faster. I mean, two years is not a long time for business to grow and develop.

Daniele  50:55  
We're older.

So two years counts like 10 years. 

Ariel Endean  50:59  
Like dog years.

Orly  51:01  
But yeah, I think we probably could have done a few things to speed up the success. I guess.

Ariel Endean  51:06  
The idea that you could whisper in your ear at an earlier point in your life to save yourself a few of those hurdles. 

Orly  51:12  

Marcus Nicholls  51:14  
Okay. One more throw.

Dice Throw  51:24  

Ariel Endean  51:25  
What's one thing you do to keep the romance alive?

Orly  51:29  
Um mmmmm.

Daniele  51:34  
Sand and sailing.

Ariel Endean  51:36  
Something's happening right because we've got a baby on the way so the romance is definitley there! 

Orly  51:44  
Yeah. Baby came once we got our business sorted. Once we got those roles delegated, that's when the baby came. Before that, I think it was difficult.

Daniele  51:58  
Yeah, Luckily because we are going through some moments of renovation in the future and stuff like that. So luckily, it came through now.

Ariel Endean  52:06  
Yeah. Romance is also your time, like your fun time, your loving time, your happy time, you're away from the business time.

Marcus Nicholls  52:14  
Is there little things that you do for each other on a daily basis, or weekly basis that would be part of keeping your romance alive.

Daniele  52:22  
I think we both love food. That helps a lot. I would say. We're not that much into television so we still have time for us at night. So we like to spend time together and so you know, just talking about business? Not necessarily. Yeah. Spending time together. 

Orly  52:40  
Despite the fact that we work together, we still spend a lot of time together at home. Yeah, we still get away.

Daniele  52:46  
And we still know when to separate when we say okay, that's enough business. And in the end, I would say that we like to talk about business. 

Orly  52:56  
Because we're passionate about it.

Daniele  52:57  
We love to talk about creating business and doing business.

Orly  53:01  
It's a creative field to and we're creatives. 

Daniele  53:05  
There are a lot of business babies in the world.

Ariel Endean  53:08  
It's definitely a creative space and I don't think people who haven't run businesses realize that. It comes across from the outside as commercial act. Like an act of commerce. But there's a whole lot about creating it. 

Daniele  53:24  
That's the beauty of it I think.

Ariel Endean  53:26  
Yeah. Nice.

Daniele  53:28  
Second round.

Ariel Endean  53:32  

Marcus Nicholls  53:37  
Well, we probably know the answer to this, but do you bring business into the bedroom? Yes or no? And why

Daniele  53:45  
No. To the bedroom? No. To the bedrooms? No.

Orly  53:50  
That's a recent change. Because I think it was only a couple of months ago that we said not to bring the computer or mobile phones into the bedroom. Yeah.

Daniele  53:59  
It's also true, but I would say that at the beginning the hours in our bedroom was so few that really there was no time for anything but sleep because 19 hours a day were about business. So there wasn't even a chance. But I would say No.

Orly  54:16  
We try not to now.

By that time we're tired anyway and we have a lot of other interests in common.

Daniele  54:26  
Bringing the bedroom future business. They're are allowed. I mean, not the current business, right? Future business, maybe because they keep everything spice.

Ariel Endean  54:36  
And you're saying you've got lots of interests. 

Orly  54:38  
We have a lot of interests in common.

I mean, obviously couples in business start as just couples. So there's a whole lot there that they are together for other than business, but when you start a business that tends to become this huge, big thing that does, you know, seep into everything. So yeah, so it's interesting because a lot of people have quite different views on whether or not business comes into the bedroom. Some people corden it off and just making a safe loving space for sleep and chatting and love. And other people are like "we talk about because everywhere."

Daniele  55:11  
Scary. No not really. Not for us. We talk about food.

Orly  55:16  
Oh, yeah. Another great passion of ours.

Ariel Endean  55:20  
Yeah. So thank you, Daniele and Orly  for chatting to us today. It's been a real pleasure and for sharing because your story's interesting and amazing and I think you've achieved a lot here and I can't wait to see it become more of whatever it's going to be.

Daniele  55:37  
Yeah, it's gonna be different. Yeah. Thanks a lot.

Marcus Nicholls  55:42  
And remember if you're down in Ettalong Beach which is on the bottom side of the Central Coast

Ariel Endean  55:47  
or the high side of Sydney

Marcus Nicholls  55:53  
And you can actually get a ferry across from Palm Beach come and check these guys out because you will not be disappointed.

Ariel Endean  56:01  
I assure you of that.

Daniele  56:02  
Thanks. Thanks a lot.

Orly  56:03  
Thank you.

Marcus Nicholls  56:04  
Thank you very much.

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