In 2014, Jacqueline Janosevic expanded production of her specialty desserts by an order of magnitude and went from selling in three Costco stores to 28. When asked about her big year, the owner of Gala Bakery answers like a true entrepreneur.

“I guess when you sit down and talk about it, you realize you’ve done some good things, but I’m always just looking to the next thing,” she said. “You never think you’ve done enough. We (entrepreneurs) are overachievers.”

To give credit where it is due, Gala had a strong year indeed. Janosevic moved the wholesale bakery — which specializes in European pastries and cakes — from a 3,500-square-foot bakery in the east end to an 11,000-square-foot space on the Mountain. She bought better equipment, hired more staff and got the company’s products into more stores.

B821714622Z.1_20140915173216_000_G3J1AQTMN.2_ContentHer specialty is burek, a handmade, stuffed pastry popular in a huge swath of countries from Croatia to Qatar. It’s been such a hit that even with the new facility, she is turning potential customers away. “I had a gentleman come in and ask for a truckload a week and I had to say, ‘I’m sorry.’ Our challenges are in staffing.

She’s working to launch five new cakes by Easter, and add at least four people to her staff of 14 by February.

Starting March 31 at the Ancaster Costco store, her goods will head out on a national Costco tour to gauge interest from consumers in different markets. She already sells items in Western Canada’s Sobeys stores but says she’s hoping the Costco exposure helps bring the products to more permanent shelf space both east and west of Ontario. “I want to conquer Canada first and then start exporting to the United States. For me, it’s the challenge of making Gala a brand name.

Gala Bakery
Owner: Jacqueline Janosevic
Location: thegalabakery.com

What they do: Wholesale specialty European desserts to stores including Costco, Fortinos, Sobeys and Highland Farms, as well as numerous smaller shops.

Nominated by: Michael Marini, Hamilton Economic Development marketing coordinator.

Why the nomination: Gala has grown into an expanded facility and now services major retailers Costco and Loblaws.
Gala Bakery’s cakes and treats will be touring Costco stores across the country in 2015.