Carol Levalley

President, Rustic Bakery, Inc. 4324 Redwood Hwy., #200, San Rafael, 94903, 415-479-5600,

Age: 54

Residence: Novato

Professional background: Art and design

Education: Orange Coast College, continuing education The Fashion Institute

Staff: 120

Tell us about yourself and your company:  I am passionate about art, design, baking, and local organic food. I believe that buying and eating organic foods is the best thing you can do as an individual for our planet. At Rustic Bakery we make handmade artisan crackers and flatbreads with organic ingredients to complement fine artisan cheese.

Is there a major accomplishment in the past year or so that you would like to share? I opened and expanded and reopened our new bakery cafe at the Marin Country Mart all within 2012.

What is the achievement you are most proud of? The work we do with the National Monument at Muir Woods, serving local organic food to visitors from all over the world and minimizing the environmental impact in doing so.

What is your biggest challenge today? Finding enough time to do everything I want to do.

Words that best describe you: Determined, precise, creative, artistic, decisive, fair.

As a successful female professional, what were the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them? Can’t think of any.

[caption id="attachment_75557" align="alignright" width="180"] Carol LeValley[/caption]

How do you think your profession will change in the next five years? I think casual food will continue to become more interesting and diversified as more and more people turn away from conventional fast food offerings.

Who was your most important mentor? And tell us a little bit about that person: Sue Connoly and Peg Smith of the Cowgirl Creamery have been an inspiration and guiding force for the bakery. Their award winning creamery was the start of the organic and artisan food movement here in Marin.

What advice would you give to a young woman entering your profession or the work world today? Follow your passion and success will follow you. Work hard, it will pay off.

Most admired businessperson outside your organization:  Thomas Keller

Current reading: I always have at least five cookbooks checked out from my local library. Current favorites: Fresh by Tyler Florence, Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi and Michael Pollan's latest, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation.

Most want to meet: Anthony Bourdain

Stress relievers:  Zumba and baking, but not at the same time.

Favorite hobbies: Travel, hands down. I spend all of my free time planning my next trip or dreaming about the last. Josh and I leave in three weeks for Paris, Stockholm, Russia and Copenhagen and I can’t wait.