We're Open: Love, Nelly

There's nothing like mom's home cooking for the co-owner of Love, Nelly in Ocean Hill.
Stephanie Gallardo brings her own childhood nostalgia to the recently opened bakery.
Gallardo spent time honing her baking skills at Crown Heights Bakery and Bar Butter and Scotch before pursuing her own business venture. She says one special lady was the inspiration behind it.
"My mom is the empanada queen. Anytime we had family gatherings, that's like the number one request is that she make empanadas. That's what kind of catapulted the idea to make it more of South American inspired bakery versus just the cakes that everyone kind of already knew,” says Gallardo.
The store is also named after her mother.
"The queen of care packages and like always includes cards and notes for all the little events, and she always signed it as “love, Nelly” instead of like love, mom,” says Gallardo.
The Rockaway Avenue eatery was always set up to be a takeout spot, but its opening got pushed back from April to July because of the pandemic.
As a Hispanic business owner she's happy to be a role model to others. Not to mention making her mom proud by selling Colombian snacks from her childhood.
"I don't think that she ever expected or anticipated that I would open a business that really reflected so much on her culture, our heritage, things like that. So, I think she's just very honored,” says Gallardo.
The bakery is sending out care packages, which have been doing very well. They plan to incorporate holiday inspired treats in the next few months.