Banting Baker Gigi with Gizelle Loots
Having been a Stunt woman and a Personal Trainer for many years, working for my late father Peter Loots, (founder of the Loots Family Health Centres), I was fortunate enough to always be health orientated and I had also studied Nutrition through SAGOF during my personal training Course. I have always had a good knowledge of nutrition, and have always followed a low carb lifestyle.
When and why did you start your business?
In 2016, My brother Garth had been banting for a while, and was struggling with cutting out breads, so without having any prior baking experience, I took on the challenge to try and make some. Upon posting these to facebook, more and more people wanted to buy them, which inspired me to create more and more.
It was then that my mother and myself decided to start Banting Baker Gigi, and turn a hobby into a business!
I did extensive research on the diet, and so grew my product range daily through experimenting with different ingredients and working out the best macros for each dish.
It was the hardest thing ever, as I would wake up at 2/3 am and bake on my own, then go stand at the Hout Bay Market and sell all day, I was beyond exhausted, and could only churn out so many products, which were gone in no time at all..
However, having no baking background, I had to build up all the equipment needed from scratch.
My amazing mother and partner helped put this whole business together, she has been incredible and had so much faith in me. I am so grateful to have her in my life!
By March 2017 I had to start hiring staff to help with the baking, as I found I could no longer cope with the workload.
And so the Gigi’s Angels were born! Two ladies have been with us since the beginning, Tazneem Wilson, and Lee Caralous, as well as Renaldi, who started this year… they have been the heart and soul of this business, working tirelessly to meet deadlines and they understand the products composition to such a degree, they make their own creations too.
In July 2017, I was asked to join the Mojo Market, And we were in by September 1st 2017. This was the most amazing step we could have taken, being at Mojo Market has given us wings, we have a beautiful showcase for our products and now we are on Uber eats, Order in, and Mr D food.
We run an online ordering website too and cater to parties, events and functions!
We have grown incredibly since being there, we now sell all meals, ice cream, a host of low carb desserts, breads, bakes, and all the guilt free delights you can think of.
At the end of 2018, We took on Ana Loots as business partners and now we are truly a family run business. And we could not be happier. It was the final ingredient we were waiting for, since she has come on board I have the much needed help and business guidance that I so lacked.
It is the perfect circle of trust, loyalty and love that makes us who we are today…
We are all about our Team. We have the most amazing relationship with our staff and each other, I believe that is the key to happiness, we all have so much fun on a daily basis and we all love what we do.
In February 2019 We were on TV on Pasella, this interview brought us so much business we actually struggled to keep up with the demand, especially as we were baking from a tiny bakery in a Market.
Here is a link to the interview we did with Pasella
In May 2019, We had to leave Mojo, as we realized that our demand was too great for such a small kitchen, so we took the leap of faith and hoped that our customers would follow… And they did. We are now trading from our Factory shop at the Inospace Island workshops, in Paarden Eiland.
Since being here we have met the most incredible new customers from the surrounding neighbourhoods, and we cannot wait to meet even more. They have been so wonderful to us and have given such amazing feedback on our products.
Since being here in the Milnerton area, I have found my fire again!
I am in the Kitchen 24/7 making sure that everything is made with heart and soul. The recipes are created on a daily basis purely by experimentation, and the excitement to recreate familiar flavours. We are not about quantity, but rather quality, Following the low carb diet does not have to be boring, we aim to make the journey as exciting as possible with new creations and meals that will make our customers feel like they never miss out on old time favourite flavours and dishes.
We work very long hours, as most of us stay in Hout bay. We travel quite far at the moment, but we are in the process of moving to Milnerton to be closer to our new second home. I also miss my pack of huskies as I hardly get to see them right now, but as soon as I am a Milnerton Local, I plan to rollerblade with them again on your beautiful promenade.
Banting Baker Gigi caters not only for Banting, but Paleo and Keto lifestyles too!
We actually find that most of our customers are actually diabetics or Celiacs, as we do not use any Grains, Wheat or Sugar in our products, and we keep the carb count to the minimum. We re-create all the guilty pleasures, you would miss when choosing to cut out carbs, and we do so in a guilt free way.
It truy has been a magical Journey, and we look forward to the future!