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Urban Retail Revitalization | Cakewalk Chicago

"I'm pretty sure there's a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking And I plan on finding out what that is ."

$12,980
pledged of$10,000 goal
28
243Days Left
Fund it
Campaign Ends on March 31, 2022

Project Description

Writing the recipe for success...

I wish something like Cakewalk Chicago existed when I was starting out.

18 years ago an idea and traveling workshops began the journey of this one of a kind far south side Chicago shop that connects home bakers and sugar artists to professional grade pastry tools, ingredients and baking industry coaching.  As an award winning Pastry Chef I found a niche to bringing my love of baking and sugar crafting to a diverse mix of patrons sparking word of mouth referrals that attracts and retains loyal customers. 

My work at Cakewalk Chicago has always been focused on unlocking creativity and courage. In the process, I’ve been so lucky to have built the business of my dreams, and I’ve found deep purpose in empowering others to do the same!

Cakewalk Chicago's mission is be a model for making quality shopping experiences accessible to the residents of the Far South Side of Chicago.  Speaking to our customers through our shared gifts of hustle and heart is what drives us. Just getting started? We know that feeling and provide the support to get going.  In business for years? We have trending supplies to reinvigorate your work. 

   From the wayback machine: Our founder Chef Lori completing Food Network Challenge

Measuring it out...

Making ends meet. Online order didn't arrive. Be your own boss. Stuck inside during a pandemic and exploring new crafts.  These are the stories of Cakewalk Chicago customers.  Dreamers and doers who are driven to nurture their creativity or join the hustle; people who need quality baking tools and guidance for all stages of their journey.  We buy our inventory from independent family distributors so they can keep running too. Starting at home with creativity, a dream, and what you have is sometimes all you have.  Kitchen crafts is where many get their start making plates and baking love.  At Cakewalk Chicago we realize that talent is abundant.  Opportunity is not. Cakewalk Chicago provides access to the opportunity because we know what it's like to have a dream but no traditional means of support.

As larger retailers continue to experience product shortages our ability to tap into smaller suppliers has meant that new customers are finding us and returning. In our efforts to make a new "first" impression with our customers Cakewalk Chicago has experienced a rise in sales in this first half of 2021. Our revenue growth is largely due to swift responsiveness to customer needs in this time of upheaval. It certainly doesn't hurt that we are the only shop of its kind in Chicago.  

 

Mixing it up...

Creating and sharing love from home kitchens has fueled both the greatest and quietest moments in history. Sugar art trends like hot cocoa bombs went viral during the pandemic of 2020 providing comfort through soul soothing kitchen crafts in an uncertain time.  For some it was a way to earn money using food and creativity. The ability to focus on non traditional sectors of work that provide or supplement income has altered the way that individuals view and perform work. Baking, cake and cookie decorating, and treat making for hire is experiencing a boom because everybody don't wanna drive for ride sharing companies to make ends meet.

Cakewalk Chicago provides an expert option for shopping that eliminates  the frustrating experience of delays in online deliveries or  needing to travel outside of the community for a quality shopping experience. Finding in stock sugar art tools and baking ingredients locally is necessary for producing amazing celebrations even when supply chain and mail delivery systems experience continued disruptions.  (Hello Suez Canal) Cakewalk Chicago is that in stock local source.

Cakewalk Chicago customers are self or under employed entrepreneurial minded mini moguls, social media influencers, and mamas creating family traditions.  Our customers are our neighbors who are making things work. They keep the economy going selling edible treats and baked goods to family, friends and community institutions. 

Kwanzaa Candy Kit by Cakewalk Chicago
Kwanzaa Candy Kit by Cakewalk Chicago

Love is Love. Felicidades. Happy St Patrick's Day. Long before inclusivity became a buzzword Cakewalk Chicago welcomed customers with multicultural and multilingual sugar art and cake decorations that represents their heritage.  We financially support community initiatives that include Juneteenth and Kwanzaa. We carry alcohol free flavors and extracts desired by our non Christian customers. We encourage a new generation of influencers by hosting youth birthday parties and coaching mini moguls on pricing strategies and optimal use of our products and ingredients. Our support is comprehensive.

Cakewalk Chicago renovation mood board by @XiomarRayInteriors
Cakewalk Chicago renovation mood board by @XiomarRayInteriors

Put it in the oven...

Cakewalk Chicago 2020 Customer Satisfaction Survey
Cakewalk Chicago 2020 Customer Satisfaction Survey

If you look good you feel good.  Our goal is to make our retail showroom as inviting as possible.  The hardwood floors tell the story of  nearly a century of unyielding work and dedication. The ceiling has fought a valiant fight keeping us safe from the elements. The windows whisper reminders of how the Windy City got its nickname. I am raising $80,000 to fund repairs and a store refresh so that our best in class products can shine in a beautiful well appointed boutique showroom. Immediate goals include retrofitting windows for energy efficiency, exterior painting, hardwood floor refinishing, new ceiling drywall. air conditioning and the addition of a security system. As we reach our goal we would include the purchase of unified store fixtures, and dream of purchasing a laser cutter to make custom bespoke cake toppers by request and equipment for classroom/video studio to continue our tradition of in person and virtual workshops.

Cake Decorating with Cakewalk Chicago
Cakin' with Cakewalk Chicago

Back of the house...

The Cakewalk Chicago dream team is a blessing. These champions work tirelessly to keep the dream alive.   Xiomara B. is an IT expert guiding the shop in becoming a 21st century digital business. Hannah B. helps turn ideas into actionable items. Pat G. organizes and beautifies.  Dinavia G. is the biggest on hands cheerleader and customer service advocate. Danny F. is a retired retail founder and mentor.  These dedicated partners guide and lift me up when I get lost in the shuffle of leading business and family.  Chef Lori has a lifetime of food service and baking and pastry expertise sprinkled with retail leadership and the desire to lift others as I rise through teaching and providing access.

Help us find out if comedian Ben Stiller is Right. Join us at the chefs table.  Let's make some dough!

Donor Levels
Lets make some dough! Donor Levels

Thank you for joining us on our journey! #CakewalkChicago #WhereTheBakersShop

The Campaign FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What will my contribution be used for?  Repair and upgrading to create a stellar retail showroom.

 

 

Michelle Begora
08/01/2021
Gimme Flour Not Flowers
$100
Adrienne Gibbs
08/01/2021
Baking Besties
$500
Misty Romero
07/28/2021
Gimme Flour Not Flowers
$100
Dawn Steele
07/15/2021
I'd Rather Be Baking
$50
MARILYN MACKEL
07/14/2021
Gimme Flour Not Flowers
$100
06/27/2021
Monetary Contribution
$50
Janice Lewis
06/22/2021
Monetary Contribution
$25
Alex Cornwell
06/22/2021
Gimme Flour Not Flowers
$100
Xiomara
06/21/2021
Monetary Contribution
$20
Erin Konrath
06/19/2021
I'd Rather Be Baking
$50
Monetary Contribution

Just Because I Care

5 Supporters
Select this reward
10.00 USD
I Support POC Businesses

Thank you for your support.   

A quality recipe is the foundation to all of the smiles.  Please enjoy the digital download of one of our favorite recipes.

3998 Left
2 Supporters
Select this reward
50.00 USD
I'd Rather Be Baking

Printable link to a favorite e-recipe and pre recorded video link to bake along with us.

994 Left
6 Supporters
Select this reward
100.00 USD
Gimme Flour Not Flowers

Printable link to a couple of our favorite recipes.

Pre recorded bake along video links.

Two of our favorite flavors mailed to you.

87 Left
13 Supporters
Select this reward
500.00 USD
Baking Besties

Printable link to favorite recipes.

Pre Recorded Video bake along link.

Cool Cakewalk Chicago Kitchen Swag. (Assortment to include Chefs choice of Flavor(s), branded gear, and a Cakewalk Chicago Surprise)

18 Left
2 Supporters
Select this reward
1,000.00 USD
Play With Your Food!

Exclusive Cakewalk Chicago Virtual Decorating Challenge in the spirit of "Nailed It!"  Gather virtually with 3 of your baking besties this 2021 Holiday season (Select ONE date between November 2021 - February 2022 for up to 4 addresses in the continental USA) as Chef Lori takes you on guided sugar arts decorating experience guaranteed to be the most fun you've ever had in the kitchen. (Actual virtual workshop date subject to calendar availability) You'll receive a kit that includes all of the ingredients for deliciously creative winter fun.

PLUS

For the donor:  cool Cakewalk Chicago Kitchen Swag. (Assortment to include Chefs choice of Flavor(s), branded

10 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
5,000.00 USD
Chef's Table

Exclusive Cakewalk Chicago Virtual Decorating Challenge in the spirit of "Nailed It!"  Gather virtually and celebrate a milestone or just get together with 5 of your baking besties (Select ONE date between September 2021 and June 2022 for up to 6 addresses in the continental USA) as Chef Lori takes you on guided sugar arts decorating experience guaranteed to be the most fun you've ever had in the kitchen. (Actual virtual workshop date subject to calendar availability) You'll receive a themed kit that includes all of the ingredients for deliciously creative winter fun.

PLUS

For the donor cool Cakewalk Chicago Kitchen Swag. (Assortment to include Chefs choice of Flavor(s), branded gear, and a Cakewalk Chicago Surprise)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward

Rewards

Monetary Contribution

Just Because I Care

5 Supporters
Select this reward
10.00 USD
I Support POC Businesses

Thank you for your support.   

A quality recipe is the foundation to all of the smiles.  Please enjoy the digital download of one of our favorite recipes.

3998 Left
2 Supporters
Select this reward
50.00 USD
I'd Rather Be Baking

Printable link to a favorite e-recipe and pre recorded video link to bake along with us.

994 Left
6 Supporters
Select this reward
100.00 USD
Gimme Flour Not Flowers

Printable link to a couple of our favorite recipes.

Pre recorded bake along video links.

Two of our favorite flavors mailed to you.

87 Left
13 Supporters
Select this reward
500.00 USD
Baking Besties

Printable link to favorite recipes.

Pre Recorded Video bake along link.

Cool Cakewalk Chicago Kitchen Swag. (Assortment to include Chefs choice of Flavor(s), branded gear, and a Cakewalk Chicago Surprise)

18 Left
2 Supporters
Select this reward
1,000.00 USD
Play With Your Food!

Exclusive Cakewalk Chicago Virtual Decorating Challenge in the spirit of "Nailed It!"  Gather virtually with 3 of your baking besties this 2021 Holiday season (Select ONE date between November 2021 - February 2022 for up to 4 addresses in the continental USA) as Chef Lori takes you on guided sugar arts decorating experience guaranteed to be the most fun you've ever had in the kitchen. (Actual virtual workshop date subject to calendar availability) You'll receive a kit that includes all of the ingredients for deliciously creative winter fun.

PLUS

For the donor:  cool Cakewalk Chicago Kitchen Swag. (Assortment to include Chefs choice of Flavor(s), branded

10 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
5,000.00 USD
Chef's Table

Exclusive Cakewalk Chicago Virtual Decorating Challenge in the spirit of "Nailed It!"  Gather virtually and celebrate a milestone or just get together with 5 of your baking besties (Select ONE date between September 2021 and June 2022 for up to 6 addresses in the continental USA) as Chef Lori takes you on guided sugar arts decorating experience guaranteed to be the most fun you've ever had in the kitchen. (Actual virtual workshop date subject to calendar availability) You'll receive a themed kit that includes all of the ingredients for deliciously creative winter fun.

PLUS

For the donor cool Cakewalk Chicago Kitchen Swag. (Assortment to include Chefs choice of Flavor(s), branded gear, and a Cakewalk Chicago Surprise)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward