Emergency vehicles on the scene at Spilt Milk on February 18, 2021 (photo by Cyrus Kaczkowski).

After closing on Tuesday for a “snow day,” Meg and Molly Svec, sisters and co-owners of Spilt Milk Pastry, 103 S. Oak Park Ave., are facing an extended closure due to water damage incurred inside the bakery on Wednesday Feb. 17.  

“Our poor little kitchen is not usable,” said Meg Svec. “Basically, as I understand it, the drainage pipe for our HVAC system froze and backed up into our furnace.”

According to Svec, water began leaking from the ceiling around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. Before long the water was coming in a very fast rate causing a portion of the kitchen ceiling to cave in leaving the kitchen badly flooded.

“Our landlord is aware of the situation,” said Meg Svec. “We have a quote from Servpro for the clean-up, but the damage is more extensive than that.  We don’t even know yet when we will be able to open.”

Spilt Milk is currently without heat because of extensive damage to the furnace, the bakery lost a freezer to water damage and floors in the bakery kitchen will need to be replaced.

The property housing Spilt Milk is owned by Jim Solnes. The landlord acknowledged in a call with Wednesday Journal that  “melting ice” had caused some leaks and that his engineer had been there to assess the problem and help in cleaning up the water. At the time Solnes said he was “unaware” the bakery would be closed for the foreseeable future and indicated he would follow up with the business owners.

A post shared to Facebook and Instagram by Spilt Milk on Wednesday evening shows video footage of water pouring into the bakery kitchen from multiple locations in the ceiling. The statement accompanying the post said:

“I don’t really have any words but wanted to let you guys know we will be closed for the foreseeable future. We had some major damage today in our kitchen. We don’t know a lot yet but will share with you guys when we understand next steps and where to go from here. We are just heartbroken. … Spilt Milk is our life and we love you guys so much. Please send all the positive energy you can muster our way, we really need it tonight.”

The post has been met with an outpouring of support for the sister-owned bakery known for being a leader in the Oak Park business community as well as a purveyor of fine pies, cookies and quiches.

“The damage at Spilt Milk is heart breaking. I am not sure I would have gotten through the last year without their delicious baked goods.” said Tina Harle, Oak Park resident and Spilt Milk regular to Wednesday Journal. “Meg and Molly have showed up time and time again for so many others in the community. Once they know the extent of the damage and what comes next, I know that this community will help them rebuild.”

The Svec sisters are waiting to fully understand the extent of the damage to Spilt Milk before sharing information about their next steps including a timeline for repairs and total costs to get the bakery up and running again.

“We want to thank everyone for their support,” said Svec. “People have been calling and dropping off cards. It makes me so emotional. I am so grateful to be in Oak Park where everybody cares so much.”

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