Interview by Abernathy Cochran interns and Gainesville High students Grady Vardeman and Donagelo Marshall

Meet James Jelez! James is the owner of the Diletto Bakery located in Downtown Gainesville. James is originally from Colombia, South America and came to the United States when he was 12 years old. He loves to work and serve the people of Gainesville and is very excited about what his “out of the box” creations have to offer the people of Hall County.

We want to thank James for spending time with us recently and telling us more about his life and love of Hall County.

Question: How long have you been open?
Answer: “We’ve been open for about two months now and this is the first cafe we’ve opened.

Q: What is your favorite item on the menu to make?
A: “I love to be creative with my work and think outside the box and one way I’ve been able to do that is with our cheesecakes. We have an Oreo cheesecake and are working on different flavors such as coffee and Nutella.”

Q: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
A: “I grew up in a bakery and my father was a baker. I always liked it as a hobby then I was able to make it into a career. I started doing different summer camps at church and starting baking for them. It started just doing it at home for fun, then at get-togethers, people started to ask if we were willing to sell. We gave it a try and it worked out and started doing wholesale and a year later we opened this up and here we are now.”

Q: Where was your father’s bakery?
A: “It was in Colombia, South America, which would have been open about 30 years ago. He ended up giving it up because he got sick from Parkinson’s disease.  He would love to still be this now, but he’s still in Colombia. He still calls and loves to hear about how everything is going with the bakery.”

Q: How long have you lived or worked in Hall County?
A: “We’ve lived here for about eight years now, happily married with two kids, one is 10 and the other is two.”

Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Hall County, and what do you love there?
A: “Atlas Pizza and their Philly Cheese Steak pizza, that’s the best.”

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: “Definitely would like to go to Italy, because Europe has the best pasties in the world.”

Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: “It’s never too late to get started and if you put in the work you will see the rewards.”

Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: “One thing I love doing is serving the church and another thing I love is education so if I could use those and try to put it towards the youth. I’ve been reading about all these programs in the world that help out teenagers and kids who are struggling to change their life. By getting them an education and a job that keeps them out of trouble. By the end of the summer, they’ve learned that if they work hard they can make a good life.”
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Hall County?
A: “Now since we’ve opened, the people of Hall County are amazing. They are so friendly and had a great experience working here so far.”

Q: Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years?
A: “I hope to see us grow and expand locations and not just Hall County, but all over Georgia.

Q: What three words or phrases that come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: “Family, rest, and joy.”

Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: “I actually volunteer teach at a christian academy during the week where I teach as a computer science teacher.”

Q: If you had a full-time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose? Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny?
A: “Housekeeper.”