When the pandemic hit the U.S. in March, married couple “Zito” and Christin Zito were trying to figure out next steps. Zito, who spent the past 20 years on the road most recently serving as production manager for Steve Aoki, and Christin, a celebrity hair and makeup stylist, weren’t sure what to do.
On Easter Sunday the couple was planning a cheat meal for their diet and Zito had a sourdough starter already made. While brainstorming what to make with it, they settled on sourdough cinnamon rolls. Having previously baked sourdough bread during Covid-19, the Zitos immediately knew there was something special about the sourdough cinnamon rolls. When Christin posted a photo on Instagram of their cheat meal, the outpouring of comments from people wanting a roll for themselves got them thinking. Soon, the couple began selling cinnamon rolls in their subdivision in Tennessee and the first weekend they sold 63 rolls, the following weekend 83 and by the third weekend they baked and sold over 120 sourdough cinnamon rolls.
“By the fourth week we had over 200 orders,” Zito tells me. “[I thought] ‘OK, I think we’re onto something here.’ So how can we scale it? How can we grow it? And how can we move it towards a business that can sustain us during this time?”
Logistically minded, his day job as a production manager for the past 21 years had Zito responsible for all aspects of a touring show including hiring the lighting and sound team, video crew and