CORRECTION: This story earlier described Pie, Pie My Darling as potentially being Chicago’s first vegan bakery. That’s not the case. In August, Betty Bot Shop opened on the South Shore, making it the first 100 percent vegan bakery in the city. Edited story follows.
Fans of Pie, Pie My Darling’s vegan desserts received some bad news over the weekend, as its bakery/cafe won’t open as planned in Lakeview. Owner Heather Bodine-Lederman wanted to take over the former Kitchen 17 space at 613 W. Briar Place and open a 100-percent vegan bakery. However, Bodine-Leaderman took to Facebook on Sunday to write that those plans had fallen through.
“Nope, I am not moving into their old space anymore. It turned out to be a situation I wasn't comfortable with and I decided to move on and look at other spaces,” Bodine-Leaderman wrote. “I know it's disappointing, I'm disappointed too, but I feel it's important to always trust your gut in these situations!”
Bodine-Leaderman is searching for a new location with six to 10 tables. She wants a kitchen in the space so she can bake on site. Though she prefers Lakeview, she said she’s also looking at Wicker Park and Logan Square. Still, she’s open and would consider all neighborhood and said she hopes to open in early 2018. November and December keep her hands full with holiday catering orders.
Pie, Pie My Darling is a caterer popular for vegan weddings and other events. It’s a niche market as many event planners and restaurants don’t cater to those who don’t consume meat and dairy products. Pie, Pie My Darling’s cakes and pies also pop-up at various markets. Paulie Gee’s pizza in Logan Square, Vegan diner Ka'lish in Uptown, and longtime cyclist favorite The Handlebar in Wicker Park also serve the desserts. Ever since news broke in February that she wanted to open a new bakery, her business has been booming.
“It’s been busier than ever,” Bodine-Leaderman said. “I’m finally going to start to bring on more people soon; it’s become crazy.”
The opportunity to move came when Kitchen 17 a vegan restaurant popular for its Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, moved earlier this year to a larger restaurant space. The storefront has since been vacant. Bodine-Leaderman said the Kitchen 17 space just didn’t work out and it wasn’t what she expected.
See Pie, Pie My Darling’s full Facebook update below.