Born in Long Beach, CA, Gab began her work in hospitality at a young age by delivering pizza on her bicycle. By the time she went away to study Art in Chicago, she’d worked her way through city college by washing dishes, tending to the needs of diners, and assisting in the management of operations.
After graduating with a degree in Fine Art from SAIC, Gab founded an online hula hoop fitness brand. What began as a passion for movement became a business in 2005, and grew quickly into the largest distributor of hula hoops in the country. After 10 years of working as the spokesperson for the brand, Gab sold the company and focused on hosting dinner pop ups and parties at her compound in Venice Beach. Known as Rose On Palms by a select group of locals, Gab explored the way friends gather through food and music, and became a very well kept secret off Abbot Kinney.
Gab chose to sell the compound in 2016 and bought a boutique hotel property in Palm Springs, she called The Green Door. She moved from Venice to be full time in the desert a short while later. The hotel became a version of Rose On Palms in the desert; quiet and unmarked, she hosted Playboy for Coachella and married friends and guests around the pool.
Although there are a lot of places to eat in Palm Springs, Gab prefered to cook for her clients frequently, and longed for a proper kitchen to cook in. She tried many different options before deciding to invest in a restaurant by partnering with her longtime colleague Wesley Barden: the early seeds of Sugarloaf had been sewn.
Her memories of Summers spent in Idyllwild with her Italian family drew her up the mountain. When her daughter was accepted to the Idyllwild School of the Arts, she moved her residence up to the small wooded town where she finally felt at home. Commuting to The Green Door almost daily, Gab passed right in front of The Sugarloaf and like so many other Highway 74 drivers, wondered why it was empty. Her fascination grew, and as soon as it came on the market Gab knew it was the perfect place to expand her offering to the people of the mountains and desert alike. She knew she wouldn’t have trouble talking Wesley into it.
Wesley left his position in New York almost immediately to partner with Gabbi at the Sugarloaf.