I met Suzanne years ago through a couple of beloved friends of mine, Max + Yelena. And anytime I’d run into her, I was always obsessed with her fashion sense. As soon as I heard she was the beautiful face behind Rosewood Pantry, I had to know more. Meet this fashionista turned successful baker, Suzanne Shpall.
HOW DID GROWING UP IN LOS ANGELES INFLUENCE YOUR CAREER
Growing up in LA has influenced me in so many ways its hard to pin down a singularly significant one. I definitely think my taste has been greatly influenced, not only the “cali” cuisine style but really in learning to source and eat local. The produce here is second to none. And it’s so great being able to walk out your back door into your produce department. For our zucchini bread, I use lemons that come off our trees!
Also a huge influence is the change I’ve seen in this city. It’s inspiring to see a city change for the better in so many ways, and I’ve always thought of LA as a massive treasure hunt—there is awesomeness to be found, you just have to look. I try to take that idea with me in everything I do. You have to be adventurous, you have to take risks. You also have to do your research (for serious) and have at least a tiny sense of direction, but you have to be able to believe in a crazy idea. I mean, 6 months ago I NEVER would have thought I’d be where I am now, but I literally could not imagine doing anything else.
I love everything about Rosewood Pantry. I love being my own boss and watching something I work for grow, slowly but surely. I even love our name and branding because they echo so many colors, textures, locations and values from my childhood. Mostly though, I love to share food and make people happy with food. Every day.
I KNOW YOU WORKED IN FASHION FOR QUITE SOME TIME. WHAT BROUGHT THE CHANGE AND INSPIRED YOU TO BEGIN ROSEWOOD PANTRY
Yes, I was a designer and then buyer at a growing online women’s retailer.
For me, fashion and food have always gone hand in hand. They both rely strongly on aesthetics and texture. This sounds weird and creepy but to me taste is like color. Texture of your ingredients is crucial, like the fabric used to create a design (recipe), and it’s the flavors that bring everything to life.
And food is so deeply creative with the utmost practical application. It’s an art form.
HOW DID YOU LEARN TO BAKE
My mom, and Bubbie—for sure—but really my mom. She knows all the family recipes by heart and I spent years as a kid as her sous-chef—sitting on a chair licking all the spoons. The recipes, though, are all Bubbie’s (and my aunt Stella’s) doing. They were bakers in their own right.
WHY GLUTEN FREE
Selfishness and necessity. I developed an allergy at age 22 and finally got fed up with not being able to eat the famous family treats. Out of frustration and boredom (I always need a new project, and to be doing a million things at once), I started to play in the kitchen; et voila, Rosewood Pantry came to life and a new era for Bubbie’s baked goods was born.
TELL US ABOUT THE FLOUR YOU DESIGNED, CRAFT, AND USE IN YOUR PRODUCTS
My first successful tests were with the awesome flour called Cup4Cup. If you know it, you know it’s amazing—but super expensive. Even before RP was a twinkle in my imagination, I started to work with some ingredients, included in many of the more popular gf all-purpose, and eventually found a blend that is super tasty and quite versatile. For a lot of the recipes, I use part custom all-purpose blend and other flours. Currently, my obsession is teff. It’s part of the magic in our best selling chocolate chip cookie, and a total superfood.
BIGGEST OBSTACLES IN CREATING YOUR COMPANY
Fear, self-doubt, and being polite.
BEST ADVICE YOU'VE EVER RECEIVED
Listen to advice. You will get a lot of it. Talk to as many people as possible and when they give you advice, listen and nod your head. Then go and do whatever you want.
AS A NATURAL HOST, WHAT ARE YOUR ESSENTIALS WHEN PLANNING A GATHERING
Planning and hosting parties is my favorite thing to do—especially when the whole night revolves around good food, drink and friends! My essentials are:
+Fun table dressings (i.e. napkin rings, table cloths, anything to make the table pop)
+Fresh, seasonal veggies
+Ingredients to make an awesome salad dressing
+Sometimes games are a fun addition! I love playing cards against humanity or this new app called Guess Words. It’s basically an app version of the game where you are given a card with a name to put on your forehead and others at the table give you clues to guess who you are.
Elegant, unique, understated and comfy.
FAVORITE STORES IN LA
FIVE PIECES YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT
Fashion Staples |
+Alexander Wang Dessert Shoes – they have this amazing wooden heel and are super comfy
+Oversized cable knit sweater I found in a vintage shop in Paris
+Leather shorts also from Paris
+My Ralph Lauren keyhole sunglasses, these are my new fav
+Zara leather moto jacket, it’s a staple
RP Staples |
+My heart shaped measuring spoons
+My Le Crueset spatula and dutch ovens for making our savory breads
+vintage striped apron
+RP’s yellow and white striped ribbon, we had to source these from France!
+My box of family recipes.
High waisted jeans / leggings and something striped.
TOP FIVE BEAUTY PRODUCTS
I’m in love with Neutrogena’s avocado oil mascara in Black. Davines and Morrocan Oil for hair, coconut scrub from Erewhon for the body, Odacite anything for skin and wellness. Odacite is my first ever skin-care obsession. Everything is hand crafted and all natural. So good.
DIET AND FITNESS REGIME
Eating well and healthy. LOTS of greens and lean proteins. Juicing as often as I can. My man and I love making green juice post hikes with the pup. I love yoga, Pop Physique and Ballet Bodies – I was serious about ballet when I was younger and I love how dance keeps me lean and fit. Whatever I do must have tons of cardio and movement, otherwise I get bored.
ADVICE TO BUDDING BAKERS
You can do it! Honestly, you just have to go for it. If it’s something you love and you’re willing to work—really work for it—do it. And do your research.
3 c gluten free rolled oats
½ c gluten free all-purpose flour
½ c teff flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 c almonds
1 c coconut flakes (unsweetened)
½ c dried cranberry
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 c coconut oil
½ c honey (I love buckwheat or sage)
1/3 c coconut palm sugar
2 egg whites (1 yolk)
Preheat oven to 325 f. line pan with tin foil and grease this with coconut oil. In a bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Add in wet ingredients one at a time and mix all together until completely combined. I like to use my hands when I’m at home, but a slightly more efficient and less messy alternative is to use a stand mixer.
Once combined, fold out, mix into the pan with a wooden spoon and spread, flattening to even out mixture throughout pan. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until it smells up your kitchen with deliciousness. This is a good sign that it’s ready. Take it out and let cool at least 15 minutes. Once cool, cut large squares and place centered in a large cereal bowl. Add some almond milk and berries, and enjoy! xx RP