Gypsy Grove Foods

Julia Deisler turns a passion for home cooking into a profitable business

Julia Deisler
Julia Deisler (Photos by John Anderson)

Gypsy Grove Foods

Julia Deisler has always been a fantastic cook. During the years when she was raising her kids and working more than 48 hours a week as a nurse, she still always made the time to have a home-cooked meal on the table every night. "No matter how tired I was," she says, "we never went the fast-food route. Life is too short to eat bad food!"

Gypsy Grove Foods

That sentiment has become the motto of her new business, Gypsy Grove Foods. Named after the Gypsy Grove subdivision in Hyde Park, her list of products reflects a lifetime of experience: Julia's Caesar Salad Dressing, Gypsy Knots Spicy Mini Pretzels, Julia's "Everybody-Wants-It" Toffee, and Chim-Chimichurri (with or without cilantro). "It's pretty much a 'greatest hits' of my culinary life," laughs Deisler. "When I told my friends I was starting a food business with my friend Blaze Callahan, these are the things everyone begged me to sell."

Julia's Caesar Salad Dressing is the mainstay of the line so far, and with good reason. It is a world-class Caesar dressing, perfectly balanced, with just the right notes of lemon and anchovy in a base of pure olive oil and Parmesan. (I honestly don't think I will ever make my own Caesar dressing again, as long as I can buy Julia's.) At a mere $6 a jar, it is a steal. Plus, it lasts more than a month in the refrigerator, so even if you only make a Caesar salad once a week or so, it won't go to waste.

The Gypsy Knot pretzels and the toffees are the items Deisler became known for in private life, and at present she can barely keep up with demand. Her pretzels are spicy and crunchy, selling for $4-$5; her toffee comes in five flavors: milk chocolate with pecans, dark chocolate with pecans, Keoke Coffee Toffee, white chocolate with ancho chile and pistachios, and dark chocolate with orange spice. All sell for $6-$6.50.

Currently Gypsy Grove products are available at several retail locations around town: Both Breed & Co. locations and the Royal Blue Grocery at Third and Lavaca carry the toffees and the pretzels; Wheatsville Co-op carries Julia's Caesar Salad Dressing; the Fresh Plus in Clarksville carries the salad dressing and the chimichurri sauce; and the Monument Market in Georgetown and the Minimax in Crestview carry the Caesar dressing, the pretzels, the chimichurri sauce, and the toffee. Additionally, Gypsy Grove plans to return to the Sunday Mueller Farmers Market in the fall.

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Julia Deisler, Gypsy Grove Foods, toffee, Julia's Caesar Salad Dressing, Gypsy Knot, Everybody Wants It Toffee, Chim-Chimichurri

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