Any child enjoys a trip to the bakery. But children will love visiting the new multi-sensory dining experience inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Baker’s Tale, is a colorful, warm, whimsical Wicker Park (2127 West Division Street) bakery that combines Owner/Executive Pastry Chef Christine LaSorda’s passion for baked goods and storytelling. She was very much into food as a child and enjoyed baked goods that her grandmother and mother made for her. So she’s keeping tradition in the family with Bakers Tale. “I started this bakery because I wanted to affect people in a positive way. I wanted them to leave feeling better than when they came in. As for the storytelling, “I just appreciate that sense of nostalgia and imagination that a good story can spark in people,” she says. “I think people relate to food in a really similar way. When I read one of my favorite childhood books, it brings me back to that time, and that feeling. The way I used to see the world.”
The bakery features traditional baked goods as well as some new flavor combinations. Some specialties include: a honey blueberry basil cupcake (honey cake, blueberry compote filling, basil buttercream for $3.75), homemade peanut butter s’more (homemade graham cracker, peanut butter chocolate ganache and homemade marshmallow fluff for $3.25) and a banana split eclair (fresh sliced bananas, chocolate mousse, strawberry mousse, vanilla mousse, dipped in ganache and topped with whipped cream and a cherry for $3.25).
“We want to pleasantly surprise people,” explains Ms. LaSorda. “Using basil in a cupcake is something a lot of people would be hesitant about, but we’ve found a way to make it work. We want to be a bakery that makes things you can’t find anywhere else…like making a banana split into an eclair or making a delicious breakfast into a cupcake. Our goal is to keep surprising people, and to keep surprising ourselves. That’s what makes every day exciting.”
The motif features a tree with upside-down tea cup lights and a book page leaves around every corner. Something that kids of all ages and many adults will find intriguing. I, for one, love that they take a story that several generations have enjoyed and have encompassed it into one happy and bustling bakery.
Even the staff treated like royalty. “At Baker’s Tale, we offer every full-time employee a salary rather than paying them an hourly wage,” shares Ms. LaSorda. “I just know how difficult it is when you aren’t guaranteed a paycheck or a certain amount of hours, but you still have bills to pay or a family to support. We wanted to be able to provide our employees with some consistency if we could. We try to treat them in a way that will inspire loyalty and make for a really great energy around our establishment.”
If you aren’t able to make it in the morning, they are serving lunch. But the main reason you should visit? “I just appreciate that sense of nostalgia and imagination that a good story can spark in people,” shares Ms. LaSorda. The Mad Hatter and the March Hare would even approve of the Benjamin Tea served along with Passion House coffee…fit for any tea party.