Meet Gianna – the girl behind Nature Girl Bread!

Lori Gandy

If you live near Lady Evelyn School, or you picked up your children from the school before the pandemic lockdown, chances are you’ve already met Gianna. At seven years old, Gianna may be the youngest business owner in our community. Since February, she has been baking and selling bread in Old Ottawa East under the name Nature Girl.

Gianna comes by her bread-making skills naturally as she’s been helping her mom make bread for some time. She started selling her homemade bread at the end of her driveway to passers-by in February. She wasn’t sure at first if anyone would buy her bread. Turns out, nobody can resist a fresh loaf of wholesome bread. As with any new business owner, Gianna is proud of her achievement and appreciates the business and support she has received from so many people.

Balloons are a major marketing tool for Gianna’s Nature Girl Artisanal Bread company. Supplied Photo

Balloons are a major marketing tool for Gianna’s Nature Girl Artisanal Bread company. Supplied Photo

“I like sharing fresh bread with my customers,” she says, and then relates a charming story about how it all began. “I’ll always remember my first customer. It was really snowing hard, and I was standing outside all bundled up with my five loaves of bread. A truck drove past me, saw us, then backed up, parked, and got out and bought the very first loaf of bread I ever sold! He also gave me a tip which was so nice of him, and I totally didn’t expect that!”

The rest, as they say, is history. Gianna became a mainstay every Thursday afternoon at the end of her driveway, selling her bread while her younger brother passed out samples.

With the pandemic lockdown, Gianna has had to make a few changes to her business. No more driveway sales; customers now order through her Instagram page or by texting her mother (see information below).

A batch of freshly baked Nature Girl Bread sells out quickly these days. Supplied Photo

A batch of freshly baked Nature Girl Bread sells out quickly these days. Supplied Photo

What hasn’t changed though is the quality of the bread. It is made with four simple ingredients: flour, salt, yeast, and water. The cost for one loaf is $6.00. In this time of physical distancing and health concerns, Gianna has incorporated processes to keep everyone safe: “I’m wearing a mask and using gloves to keep safe when I’m making bread!” She has also set up no-contact delivery – customers leave the money in the mailbox and Gianna leaves the bread on the porch.

Gianna has put a great deal of thought into her bread business, right down to the name – Nature Girl, which she explains she chose “because bread is a very traditional food and I use organic flour, and I’m a girl. So that creates Nature Girl.”

Gianna’s business drive is not surprising since the entrepreneurial spirit runs in her family, as she explains: “My grandfather is an entrepreneur and I’ve gone to work with him a few times and seen what it’s like being in business and I really liked it.” Nature Girl is Gianna’s first business experience and she says she is having loads of fun with it and hopes to be able to keep running it for a long time.

Gianna and her younger brother braved the cold this past winter to sell their product streetside in Old Ottawa East . Supplied Photo

Gianna and her younger brother braved the cold this past winter to sell their product streetside in Old Ottawa East . Supplied Photo

It’s difficult not to be inspired by Gianna’s example. For those budding entrepreneurs among our readers, Gianna has the following advice: “I think that my best tip is to figure out what you want to do and what you want to call your business. And make sure you enjoy what you’re doing because you’ll do it over and over again.” Sound advice indeed.

Because her family divide their time between Ottawa and Alberta, Gianna advises that the best way to know when she’s baking bread is through her Instagram page.

Gianna looks forward to baking more bread for her new community of OOE. As she says: “It’s a lot of hard work, but people are very nice and at the end of the day you feel good for the work you did.” Well done Gianna!

If you would like to order bread from Nature Girl, you can either text Gianna’s mother at 780-233-3643 or contact Gianna through her Instagram page:@naturegirl.bread

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Filed in: Business Beat, Features, FP, Front Page, Interviews, News Tags: , , , , ,

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