Take a gander at our Woman of the Week this week, Marci Prolo of Goose’s Goodies! Born and raised in Santa Cruz, she’s a fourth generation local. Although she went to college in Fresno, lived in Sacramento, and spent over two years living in Spain, where she started a language program at a preschool just outside of Madrid, there’s just something about the mountains and ocean that feels like, well, home.
Family traditions have always been important to Marci, especially so because she has such a large family here. They enjoy getting together to celebrate holidays and special events, and of course, at the end of every meal the dessert comes out. So she started making a traditional toffee for these desserts from a family recipe, then tweaked it to make it her own, adding a variety of different flavors and ingredients each time.
When she shared her treats, all the varieties meant that there was something special for everyone. She loved how different flavors brought back childhood memories for each person, sparking reminiscing and storytelling. People kept telling her, “You gotta get this out there!” And she did.
In the beginning, she was renting kitchen space and getting her product out there while working as a preschool teacher. But four years ago, she opened her own kitchen in Seabright and quit teaching. She sells mostly online and at festivals, but a few local shops carry her goodies. Although Marci wants to grow, she doesn’t want her treats just hanging out there on every corner. Her tagline is “no one bite is alike,” and she’s dedicated to keeping her toffee specialty and artisanal.
Marci’s favorite part of running Goose’s Goodies? Being creative and coming up with new flavor combinations.
The Santa Cruz community has been a huge part of Marci’s business success. Small banks were supportive with lending and the Cabrillo College Small Business Development Program helped immensely. The biggest thing has been getting her name out there, and she likes to contribute back to her community. Last January, Marci held a Santa Cruz Socialites event at her kitchen, complete with vision-boarding. She met our founder, Monica Karst, at a community event and sees her regularly out and about.
When she isn’t busy doing the entrepreneurial bustle, Marci enjoys power pilates, crossfit, and walking along West Cliff. Her dream is to travel around the world, visiting every country. “I think it’s important that we know about different cultures—the world is so small and we’re really not that different.”
Check out Goose’s Goodies online for in town pick-up, corporate gifts, weddings, parties and toffee platters. Marci will also be the Bargetto Art and Wine Festival in July and the Capitola Art and Wine Festival in September.
Visit her website: goosesgoodies.com