Watercolor of Gayle's Bakery in Capitola before 1999.

Who We Are

In 1978, Gayle & Joe Ortiz decided to open a small bakery nestled above the quaint little village of Capitola, California.  It began with 800 square feet and they served 10 items. Five years later, the Rosticceria, an Italian deli with a beautiful rotisserie was added. Today, Gayle’s is a thriving 10,000 square foot food emporium with two successful cookbooks and 180 employees.

Everyday, we transform the best natural ingredients like real butter, fresh eggs and organic flour into more than 500 different pastries, cakes, cookies, breads, sandwiches and entreés. Even the mayonnaise is made from scratch! Freshness in the food business can be a relative term. To us it means daily or hourly.

Like village bakeries everywhere, Gayle’s is a meeting spot for locals, many of whom stop in several times a day. It is a destination for people from all over the world who love food.

A visit begins before you even open the door. Early in the morning, the air outside is filled with the smell of buttery croissants baking. Later a peek in the window reveals the warmth of the rostisserie spinning with golden chickens. In the afternoon, the aroma of chocolate cakes baking tempts you to come in. Inside, stunning displays in gleaming showcases beckon you to select as much or as little as you like, on your time schedule. You can have hot pasta and garlic bread for breakfast or a Bear Claw and a cappuccino for dinner.

Service is casual. Take a number and relish the wait; it will give you time to decide among a myriad of treats. Have a glass of wine on the covered patio by the fire, eat inside the Café or Espress Bar, or take it “to go” for a picnic on the beach.