A local vegan baker is finally getting a bakery and cafe, a dream she’s chased for years, and now she’s turning to customers for support. Heather Bodine-Lederman of Pie, Pie My Darling announced on Facebook that she signed a five-year lease at 2636 W. Chicago Avenue in West Town that starts September 1. She needs to raise funds for remodeling, retail licensing, baking equipment, and more, and set up a GoFundMe page with a $50,000 goal.
The 1600 square-foot space will primarily offer grab-and-go items, but Bodine-Lederman said she’d like to include six to 10 tables where customers can eat pastries and drink coffee. The decor will include some feminine touches, but don’t expect a frilly shop: Pie, Pie, Pie My Darling will have a “grownup goth” look. “My vibe with the whole bakery is very gothic alternative,” she said. “I make a lot of cakes that are all black with black sprinkles, and I want to incorporate that into the design.”
The one-woman operation is a popular caterer for vegan-friendly events and is known for its popular Funfetti cake. Wicker Park’s Handlebar and pizzeria Paulie Gee’s in Logan Square currently offer the brand’s cake by the slice. Bodine-Lederman uses canola oil, non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening and non-dairy butter substitutes rather than traditional butter and dairy products.
Pie, Pie My Darling was originally slated to take over the former Kitchen 17 space in Lakeview in 2017. The planned bakery and cafe ultimately fell through later that year. Bodine-Lederman said she then turned to Pilotworks, a since-shuttered startup that provided commercial kitchen space. When Pilotworks folded in October 2018, she began to lease kitchen space from local business Ruth and Phil’s Gourmet Ice Cream. When the shop’s owners said they weren’t planning to renew their lease, Bodine-Lederman seized her chance and nabbed the spot. She’s uncertain about an opening date, but hopes to be operating before the end of the year.
“It’s truly crazy, I’ve been shaking all day,” she said. “I can’t even believe that it’s real life... the lease is signed, no one can take this away from me. This is all I’ve ever wanted. It’s a total dream come true for me.”
Stay tuned for more news as the project progresses.