Meet the Founder: Fernanda Capraro of Cookies con Amore
Fernanda and Angelo Capraro were childhood friends in the south of Italy, where their grandmothers baked for love and honor. Cookies were firmly baked into their village’s culture and always on hand for coffee or wine with family and friends. Back then, when a young man would pop “the question” to his girlfriend, the next question was what would Nonna bake for the wedding.
The Capraros took their love of cookies to California in the 1970s. Together they found sweet success with a series of Italian delis and Laguna Beach’s famed Villa Romana restaurant. They also continued their tradition of baking for friends and family — even bringing suitcases full of cookies to weddings upon request.
The husband-and-wife duo are now fully devoted to their favorite dessert with a 33,000 sq. ft. bakery in San Marcos, CA. Still, to this day, every delicious order is baked in small batches — with love.
Recently, we caught up with Fernanda to learn more about her journey and hear her advice for fellow entrepreneurs.
01 Why did you start Cookies con Amore?
We started by offering cookies in our restaurant, Villa Romana. These cookies would always remind us of our childhood gatherings and festivities with our families.
In 2005, we dedicated ourselves to sharing what we love the most: cookies. Like I always say, “Who can resist cookies?” We always made cookies with our parents, grandparents, aunts, and other family members, so “con Amore” (with love) became our brand.
Our company has grown to more than 45 employees, but I still serve as the lead baker and we bake everything in small batches, just like always.
Cookies Con Amore is a true labor of love. We believe that you have to put your heart into your food and we don’t hold back in any way. We’re Italian, after all.
02 What obstacles did you face along the way?
Our biggest obstacles always stemmed from distribution and cash flow. Today, we’re lucky to have lots of incredible customers and terrific partners, but those are still challenges that we face to this day as an independent business.
03 What lessons do you have for other entrepreneurs?
Stay positive! Always stay true to your vision and work hard. Owning your own business is never easy, but if you stick to your mission and dedicate yourself to it, good things will happen.
04 What’s on the horizon for Cookies con Amore?
I hope to continue growing even more! Our goal is to leave Cookies con Amore as the legacy of our lives, something that will last for a very long time and delight families everywhere for generations to come.
05 How do you keep work/life balance? What drives/inspires you?
Work/life balance is the hardest part of entrepreneurship. When you’re a self-employed individual who is truly committed to your dream, work becomes an inseparable part of your day-to-day life.
My business is such a huge part of my life, but I always find drive and inspiration from the joy we bring to our customers. For us, it’s about more than cookies — we help create long-lasting memories for people everywhere. Our customers are kind enough to share those stories with us. Every compliment we receive from them is another direct boost to my inspiration and drive.