Skokie bakery a family affair
Anna Klimantovich, volunteer cake decorator at Sweety Pies, works on a cake decoration at the bakery September 11, 2012. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
8042 N. Lincoln Ave. in Skokie
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
To place an order call 847-213-0900.www.sweetypiesbakery.com
Updated: September 25, 2012 4:42PM
SKOKIE — Since opening Sweety Pies bakery in Skokie five years ago this fall, the family-run business has been serving up freshly baked pies, cakes, cookies and other delectable treats that promise to satisfy every sweet tooth.
The Kruger family collectively followed a lifelong dream of owning their own bakery when they launched Sweety Pies in November 2007.
Run by Arden and Bruce Kruger, their daughter Dana Kruger and son Chad Kruger, the four-person family team works long hours day and night working to make their business a success.
Although their tasty made-from-scratch pies and pastries have drawn a good amount of customers into the bakery during the past five years, the Krugers learned quickly that starting a business during a recessionary low was not an easy task.
“The economy crashed right after we opened, but we’ve seen a steady improvement as things continue to get better,” Dana Kruger said. “We’ve committed ourselves to doing something that’s hard, but you have to realize that even in tough times people are celebrating birthdays and weddings, and that people still need to enjoy the little things in life.”
Baking seems to be in the Kruger family’s blood. Using Dana and Chad’s grandmother’s pie recipes, the family had been baking for friends and family for many years as a hobby before finally turning their talents into a business endeavor.
On a typical day at Sweety Pies, Arden and Chad stay busy in the kitchen as the head bakers, while Bruce cooks up fresh omelets for the breakfast crowd and Dana handles customer service and operations.
“The whole business is centered around family,” Dana Kruger said. “We never would have been able to make this happen without each other.”
After spending longs days together in the bakery, one would think the family might need a break from each other, but not this family. The four also live together in the same house in Rogers Park.
“We have our arguments, but we get over it quickly because we have to work together the next day,” Dana Kruger said. “That’s one of the more rewarding parts — no matter what, even when it gets frustrating and annoying, we make it work somehow.”
Unlike most bakeries that have an in-and-out feel, the Krugers offer a welcoming environment decorated with warm tones like chocolate brown and gold accents that and a living room-type feel with café seating for 25 people.
An open kitchen allows customers to see into the area where pastries and lattes are made.
“We bring out the cookies, pies and cakes and display them on our large, granite countertop so our customers can see what everything looks like,” Dana Kruger said. “It’s like grandma just brought out fresh baked goods from the kitchen.”
Fresh baked goods from Sweety Pie are featured at the weekly farmer’s markets in Evanston, Morton Grove and Skokie.