Noble Folks: Entrepreneurs invest in their community through baked goods and good deeds

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Noble Folks: Entrepreneurs invest in their community through baked goods and good deeds

Ozzy Jimenez (left) and Christian Sullberg (right), co-owners of Moustache Baked Goods, Pastry Annex and two Noble Folk locations, opened the newest Noble Folk in downtown area Santa Rosa.

Ozzy Jimenez (left) and Christian Sullberg (right), co-owners of Moustache Baked Goods, Pastry Annex and two Noble Folk locations, opened the newest Noble Folk in downtown area Santa Rosa.

Abraham Fuentes

Ozzy Jimenez (left) and Christian Sullberg (right), co-owners of Moustache Baked Goods, Pastry Annex and two Noble Folk locations, opened the newest Noble Folk in downtown area Santa Rosa.

Abraham Fuentes

Abraham Fuentes

Ozzy Jimenez (left) and Christian Sullberg (right), co-owners of Moustache Baked Goods, Pastry Annex and two Noble Folk locations, opened the newest Noble Folk in downtown area Santa Rosa.

Abraham Fuentes, Staff Writer

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Ozzy Jimenez and Christian Sullberg started their first business in 2011 when they were in their early 20s and have since opened three more Sonoma County-based establishments.

Their first was Moustache Baked Goods on Healdsburg Avenue; now they also own and run Pastry Annex, a Noble Folk location in Healdsburg and their newest venture, a second Noble Folk now open at 539 Fourth St. in Santa Rosa.

When Jimenez and Sullberg started out, they saw most bakeries were owned by women.

“At the time there were so many bakeries populating all over the country that were pink and glittery. That has its place,” Jimenez said, “but that isn’t who we are.”

Sullberg agreed. “It was atypical for two guys to own a bakery, so we were playing off that. [Moustache] is a name that stops you in your tracks.”

When they started, they heard many comments that their business would not last.

“We joked about this sometimes, that we can’t count the number of times people come into Moustache when we first opened and assumed that we worked there,” Sullberg said. “We were privy to a lot of conversations in the community. [People would say] ‘Oh yeah, I give this place about a month.’ And look now — going into our ninth year.”

Both men are Santa Rosa Junior College alumni. Sullberg studied in the culinary program, and Jimenez focused on anthropology.

Jimenez’s experience at SRJC helped him find a place for himself after attending Piner High as a self-described “brown, LGBTQ” kid.

“It’s hard to find your space,” Jimenez said. “The JC was one of the first places that I felt like I could be myself separate from my family. I wasn’t out to my family for a long time, even during high school.”

Because of experiences like these, Sullberg and Jimenez want to be a visible representation of the LGBTQ community.  

“Historically, you don’t see yourself represented anywhere as an LGBTQ person until recently with Brew. Those girls are fantastic,” Jimenez said.

He specifically cited Alisse, one of Brew’s owners, as “doing an incredible job there,” a job they want to emulate at all their locations.

“We are a queer-owned business in Sonoma County, and we have created about 50 jobs so far. This store will probably put us at about 60,” Sullberg said. He also noted they are “big proponents of using our business to effect change in the community” beyond the bottom line.

To that end, Sullberg runs Positive Images, a non-profit LGBTQ support group. Jimenez works with Healdsburg Forever, a non-profit that provides funds to other nonprofits supporting the Healdsburg community.

They are proud of both their nine-year run as entrepreneurs and their contributions to Sonoma County, particularly because they are also a couple — even if they tell different stories about where they met.

Sullberg claims they met at Flying Goat Coffee when Sullberg was behind the counter and Jimenez was a regular. Jimenez says they met in school.

“I met him at the JC. There’s this cute guy, what is his deal?” Jimenez said. “He is from the area, and I get coffee all the time, so I went up to him and ask him out.”

Having grown up, attended school, met one another and now opened four businesses in Sonoma County, both Sullberg and Jimenez feel a sense of place and purpose here. They want to keep their businesses local and plan to expand both within Sonoma County and outside.

But for now, their focus is on their newest Noble Folk location in Santa Rosa.

“Santa Rosa downtown life is starting to shift to be a little more family-friendly,” Sullberg said. “People are reclaiming downtown.”

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