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    GGBA Member Spotlight

    Wooden Table Baking: Argentinian Treats Made from Scratch with Love

    By Marlow Schindler, U.S. SBA —

    Wooden Table Baking Co. is an Oakland-based, certified LGBT Business Enterprise (LTGBTBE) bakery, dedicated to crafting the finest Argentinian treats. They make alfajores, conitos and bonbons from scratch with high quality, all-natural ingredients. They use locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible and their flour, granulated sugar, cornstarch, chocolate, potato starch and tapioca starch are all non-GMO.

    “Our cookies are hecho a mano, con amor. We are a learning organization, dedicated to growing with our employees, our business, and our community,” said Owner and Head Baker Andreas Ozzuna.

    Andreas grew up baking alfajores with her grandmother and visiting her grandfather’s deli in Buenos Aires. As a child, Andreas aspired to work in the family business, but it wasn’t until she was 41 that she decided to turn her hobby of cooking into her full-time job. 

    Initially she sold her alfajores door-to-door to coffee shops in San Francisco. Whole Foods invited her to sell through their Northern Californian stores. Started in 2011 with just two bakers, Wooden Table Baking now employs seven people. As their clients’ orders have grown, they needed more people to help with the baking, packing, shipping, running the office and production. Today, Wooden Table Baking cranks out 6,000 cookies a day.

    In October of 2017, Wooden Table Baking Co. opened a store located in Uptown Oakland at 2300 Broadway Street. In addition to the delicious alfajores, conitos and bonbons, they also feature an espresso bar that includes submarino, a hot chocolate style in which a whole bar of chocolate lands in your cup of warm milk, and yerba mate service with bombilla, the traditional straw-like filter.

    Wooden Table Baking is unique in that there are few commercial bakeries in the United States that focus on making high-quality alfajores and conitos. In addition, they put their own spin on traditional flavors, offering Argentinian-American fusion flavors such as Espresso Chocolate, Snickerdoodle and Peppermint Chocolate. Andreas is always experimenting with new recipes.

    Wooden Table Baking sought counseling from two of the Bay Area’s Women’s Business Centers along the way. Andreas took classes at Women’s Initiative, and her wife Citabria Ozzuna, Director of Marketing, later took classes at Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center.

    At Women’s Initiative in 2011, Andreas took the business course and created a business plan for Wooden Table Baking Co. Andreas had been considering making empanadas as well, but when she learned about all of the regulations around handling and preparing meat, she focused on alfajores instead.  The counseling provided Wooden Table Baking with financial planning skills, legal counseling, and marketing savvy—all of which helped them to avoid pitfalls and to get their business on its feet. 

    At Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, Citabria took the Business Planning class where she wrote a comprehensive business plan. Paul Terry, a counselor and teacher at Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, was a particularly supportive mentor. “Paul was especially helpful because he is a hands-on teacher who is dedicated to the success of his students,” recalled Citabria “He can always be relied upon to provide sound advice and extra cheerleading.”

    After getting the Whole Foods contract, Andreas did a Kickstarter campaign to get a chocolate coating and cooling tunnel because she could no longer keep up with demand by hand. She successfully raised $33,000 dollars. A few years later, she received a United States Small Business Administration 7(a) loan from Wells Fargo, which allowed her to buy a former boxing gym and build it into her own custom commercial bakery. Wooden Table Baking finally had a “home” and no longer needed to worry about paying rising rents.

    Andreas and Citabria give back by supporting local organizations that are doing great work in communities that are important to them. Wooden Table Baking donates cookies to events and helps with cross promotion for causes ranging from the East Oakland Youth Development Center to Abrazo Queer Tango.

    Wooden Table Baking recently went through the process to become a certified Lesbian Gay Bi-Sexual Transgender Business Enterprise (LGBTBE) through the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). They have also become members of the local LGBT Chamber, the Golden Gate Business Association (GGGBA). “We’ve experienced a lot of support here in the Bay Area,” Andreas said. “We are lucky to live in an open culture where our identities are not a barrier to our growth.”

    Her business debuted at number 49 on the top 50 LGBTQ-Owned Businesses in San Francisco Business Times’ “Business of Pride” issue for 2017.

    Citabria acknowledged that there are both advantages and challenges to working with one’s spouse: “It’s important to make boundaries around personal time. Sometimes it’s hard to know when to stop talking about the business.” Andreas’ advice more generally for someone thinking of starting a business is simply, “Love your product and the people you work with. Make it the best you can.”

    Wooden Table Baking’s treats can be found not only in high end grocery stores, delis, and coffee shops, but also online. They ship gift boxes all over the country. Wooden Table Baking is also able to provide large custom orders for weddings, parties, and events.

    For more information:


    Accessible Business Entrance Program

    What All San Francisco Small Businesses Need to Know

    Key Background:

    San Francisco’s Accessible Business Entrance (ABE) Program was created by Ordinance No. 51-16 (Mandatory Disability Access Improvement), and passed by the Board of Supervisors in April 2016, effective May 22, 2016. The program requires any building with a place of public accommodation to have primary entrances and entrance routes into the building accessible to people with disabilities.

    Barriers to accessible entrances include one or more steps to the entryway, door handles requiring grasping or twisting of the wrist, sloping or narrow doorways, and uneven flooring.

    What you need to do:

    The property owner must complete and submit to the Department of Building Inspection (DBI) the Category Checklist Compliance Form in consultation with a Certified Access Specialist (CASp), licensed architect, or engineer. An administrative fee is required upon checklist submittal.

    Who is exempted:

    There are four exemptions to the ordinance: (1) Buildings built on or after 2002; (2) Buildings or businesses owned and operated by religious organizations; (3) “Bona fide” private clubs; and (4) Buildings without places of public accommodation.

    The DBI’s Pre-Screening Form is required for property owners to document and verify that a building is exempt. Property owners are required to complete and submit the form to DBI. 

    Who is responsible:

    Compliance is required for places of public accommodation and the responsibility for compliance is on the property owner. A place of public accommodation is a facility whose operations affect commerce and that fall within certain categories.

    Take Action:

    For help in determining whether your business is a place of public accommodation, review the ADA Title III Technical Assistance Manual or call the Department of Justice ADA line at 1-800-514-0301.

    Property owners should review DBI’s Information Sheet DA-17 and webpage: and contact DBI directly for assistance: in-person at 1660 Mission Street, 1st Floor, Window #8, by phone 415-558-6128 or by email ( Note: Technical compliance questions should be referred directly to DBI.


    We Truly Are All Connected

    By Sandra Escalante–

    I had the honor of being part of history being made on March 16, 2018, when the GGBA hosted the Western Business Alliance 2018 LGBT Economic Summit and Conference. For the first time in nearly 45 years, the GGBA gathered together the mind-share, vision, and passion of over 20 LGBT Chambers from across the Western United States, Canada, and a few points East.

    As someone who has been in business for over 30 years, I have to admit that I’ve become a bit skeptical about being invited to Summits and Conferences that have been long on promises and short on deliverables. Even as a board member of the GGBA, I was well aware of the format that had been developed for the LGBT Summit, which was to be “short on talking heads—long on collaboration.”

    Still, I didn’t really have a good sense of the impact that awaited. Furthermore, the Summit’s planners promised that the discussion topics weren’t going to be “business as usual.” The plans were to address topics that most chambers (which I believe are an antiquated model to begin with) wouldn’t want to touch, such as LGBTQ youth homelessness, the needs of millennial LGBTQ entrepreneurs, and thinking “outside the box” on accessing capital because, for as much as all the banks say, there just isn’t enough money being accessed.

    Well, I am a true convert. Never have I been prouder of the San Francisco and Bay Area LGBTQ business community and the GGBA, in particular. The Breakout Session facilitators pushed us to dig deep into the issues. Nothing was sacred. All was on the table. And, it wasn’t just a group of “like-minded” people who were sitting at the table. Rather, it was a mix of individuals from all different aspects of the challenging topics. There was a lot of lively conversation with some incredibly brilliant people, such as non-profit organization leaders serving the homeless community talking face to face with LGBTQ business owners.

    What came out of the Breakout Sessions was a deliverable that articulated both the challenges and key concrete recommendations that all 22 LGBTQ Chambers of Commerce could immediately take back to their respective city/county/state to plug in and start to move the dial.

    I came away from the Summit walking a bit taller knowing that I was part of a group of leaders that were focused on what was most important: addressing business growth and quality of life issues that are important to not just our businesses and employees, but also to the community as a whole.

    The impacts of the GGBA’s Summit are already being felt along the West Coast. Business leaders from across the spectrum are engaged like never before. I found myself “all in” on the vision that was created, and I encourage other LGBTQ and allied businesses to engage in what the GGBA has created. This is our time, and we all need to band together to create change and to have a positive impact. 

    Sandra Escalante, a GGBA board member, is the CEO of Laner Electric Supply Company, Inc., in Richmond (


    GGBA Calendar

    April Make Contact – San Francisco

    Tuesday, April 10

    6 pm to 8 pm


    278 Post Street, San Francisco, CA  94102


    Join in the fun and be a part of the Silent Disco!


    Stand Up/Speak OUT!

    A Bi-Weekly Workshop to become a more effective public speaker

    Led by Gina Grahame, Gina Grahame Presents

    Wednesday, April 18

    8 am to 9:30 am

    Offices of the U.S. SBA, 455 Market Street, 6th Floor

    San Francisco, CA  94105


    Join us for the most effective/business generating hour of your week.


    May MEGA Make Contact – San Francisco

    Tuesday, May 15

    5:30 pm to 8 pm

    BMW of San Francisco Showroom

    1675 Howard Street @ South Van Ness, San Francisco, CA  94103

    Join us for some High-Performance Networking during San Francisco Small Business Week.