Today we’d like to introduce you to Natalie and Bruce Sivil. Them and their team share their story with us below:
As a military family, Bruce retired from the Army in San Antonio after 26 years. Natalie, also an Army veteran, ran a home cake business for more than 10 years, ThatssomecakeSA. Upon “empty-nest” she returned to school to complete a degree in Baking and Pastry Arts.
After graduating as a Pastry Chef in 2019 from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) she awaited God’s will to lead to what may be next. Due to her 11-year gluten intolerance, Natalie had already adapted her cooking and baking to care for others with celiac or similar issues. Encouraged by the chefs at the CIA to open her own gluten-free kitchen, Bruce designed and built the mobile bakery specifically to meet this need.
Sunflowers Bakery and Cafe started in the fall of 2019 selling pastries and desserts from a booth at markets. The food truck launched in the summer of 2020 providing breakfast and lunch options, along with pastries and desserts.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Starting a new business in the middle of a pandemic was not easy. Natalie’s specialty is to meet and exceed food quality for gluten-free entrees and desserts.
The biggest challenge is overcoming negative perceptions of “gluten-free.” Sunflowers Bakery and Cafe wins them over with every bite.
Bruce was challenged with building a food truck from the blank slate of a box on wheels, to meet fire and health compliance, plus power generation to support an independent kitchen.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Sunflowers Bakery and Cafe is known for Gluten Free pastries, desserts, and entrees that most would not know are gluten-free. Our slogan is “Follow Me for Gluten Free-dom”
We love to connect with our customers and see their excitement when they enjoy something they’ve not had access to because of the need to be gluten-free. That is what I am most proud of.
If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
Natalie is the oldest of four sisters, loves to read books, and was always interested in business, but never thought she would be in the food service industry.
Bruce, the youngest of three brothers, always enjoyed fixing broke things and working with his hands. He retired as a Sergeant Major after 26 years as an Army Medic to now serve in full-time medical ministry at Malta Medical, a free community resource and Ministry of Calvary Chapel San Antonio.
Natalie and Bruce have been married 32 years and are enjoying this new season treating others.
Pen and Pixel & Jo Storm