WICKER PARK — A coffee shop and bakery that sells products infused with THC and CBD is open in Wicker Park.
Wake-N-Bakery, 1659 W. Division St., sells scones, muffins, cupcakes and other baked goods made with Delta-8, a strain of THC derived from hemp.
That’s on top of lattes, teas and other drinks available with Delta-8, as well as with CBD.
The potency of the pastries and drinks varies. General manager Stephen Golden recommends starting off with a “microdose” of a product with about 30 milligrams of Delta-8, which he said is roughly equivalent to a 5-milligram gummy from a traditional dispensary.
Wake-N-Bakery is owned by Brianna Banks and her partner, Mohamed Lotfy. The pair started the company in early 2020, carving out a niche in the edible cannabis market, Banks said.
“We go to an extreme, and now we have coffee with it, now we have lemonade with it, now we have tea with it. We have cheesecakes, our nut-banana muffin,” she said.
Banks said part of the bakery’s focus is to emphasize the health and wellness benefits of cannabis, as well as to provide a stimulating culinary experience for customers. She said it’s about more than just getting high — although that’s certainly part of the appeal.
“I think we educate people and they realize, ‘Hey, there’s a lot more benefits to just being high,'” she said. “The food has always been a focus. We want you to come back for the food, not just the high, the combination of the two. My goal is to get a Michelin star of some sort. … My goal is to be like that for cannabis, be the first ever.”
Golden and Banks said a big part of the store’s mission is education, specifically to combat any stigma associated with consuming cannabis products.
“I think one thing that we do well is making cannabis and hemp more acceptable, like there are more acceptable ways to use it. You don’t have to just smoke it,” Banks said.
Wake-N-Bakery also sells retail products like gummies, tinctures and chocolates containing Delta-8.
The bakery is expanding after the success of its Lakeview location, which Golden said exploded in popularity after going viral on TikTok.
That’s led to people driving in from all over the city, state and even across the country to buy their products, Golden said.
“We had customers coming from Pilsen, from the south suburbs, people coming in from out of state crossing over from Ohio to Indiana, just to get to Lakeview,” Golden said. “It comes to show you that it’s more than just like the hemp-derived THC part of it. Our staff sells it all for us, because their vibe is what attracts people.”
That success drove owners to open the Wicker Park shop, which previously was home to a 5411 Empanadas. They’ve also opened a franchise location in the suburbs and hope to expand to other states.
The Wicker Park space is larger than Wake-N-Bakery’s Lakeview shop, and the owners plan to host private parties and community events.
The first one will be the store’s official grand opening party on Wednesday, which is also the stoner holiday 4/20.
The event will run 8-11 p.m. and will feature a DJ and samples of the bakery’s treats.
Wake-N-Bakery’s Wicker Park location is open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Products containing THC are only available to customers 21 and older.
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