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‘It’s All Good’ Episode 18: Pastries, Cookies And Cakes, Oh Pie!

Covering Chicago's best bakeries, from a South Side spot fit for the vice president to a clandestine society of longtime bakers.

Owner Stephanie Hart speaks next to a “Rainbow Sherbet” cake at Brown Sugar Bakery, 328 E. 75th St., on Aug. 12, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

CHICAGO — This week’s episode of “It’s All Good” is all about sweets.

Chicago is home to countless local bakeries, and Episode 18 features some of your favorites and stories about our neighborhood institutions.

Brown Sugar Bakery owner Stephanie Hart has spent countless days and even longer nights nailing the imperfections she embraces. Today, she owns one of the South Side’s most notable bakeries — and she owns the building that houses it at 328 E. 75th St. 

After 17 years, countless neighbors and famous people have stopped by the bakery. Vice President Kamala Harris visited in April.

“Her visit was really great for my community and for my staff,” Hart says on the podcast. “As we’re trying to grow and push forward, I try to tell people what we do is important. They think, ‘It’s just cake,’ but cake matters!”

Vice President Kamala Harris visited Brown Sugar Bakery in Chatham.

Other bakers have found creative ways to make it through the decades. The Bakers Dozen, a secret society of leaders from the oldest family-owned bakeries in and around Chicago, is helping beloved bakeries thrive.

The Bakers Dozen formed in the 1930s, but the exact date is unknown. Erich H. Weber, the founder of Weber’s Bakery, was an original member along with 12 colleagues — making it 13 members, a true baker’s dozen.

The bakery owners typically choose a meeting’s theme based around an item they aren’t satisfied with, and they help each other improve their recipes.

“These bakeries are trying to raise up each other,” author Jennifer Billock says. “Real baked goods should be delicious, fresh and not frozen for two months and thrown on the counter.”

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Assorted breads for sale at Weber’s Bakery, 7055 W. Archer Ave., in Garfield Ridge on Sept. 8, 2021.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Cupcakes for sale at Brown Sugar Bakery, 328 E. 75th St.
Credit: Zeppola Italian Bakery/ Facebook
Zeppola Italian Bakery will set up shop at Fulton Market gateway.

Episode 18 also features listeners favorite bakeries and what makes them special.

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If you have good news, share it with the team by emailing podcast@blockclubchi.org. Feel free to record a voice memo of your news so we can share it with all our listeners!

New episodes of “It’s All Good” will go live most Thursdays.

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