Spilt Milk Pastry, 811 South Blvd., celebrated its fifth anniversary last weekend. Sisters, Meg and Molly Svec helm the bakery that has become a beloved business in Oak Park not only for their decadent pies, cookies and pastries, but also for their commitment to having a positive impact on the community.
A line snaked around the corner on South Boulevard as friends and customers gathered to celebrate the milestone for the small yet mighty business. Customers enjoyed coffee and pastries while shopping for jewelry made by Dima Ali and flowers from Pickle Hill Parties. Local photographer, Tina Harle, was on site taking portraits.
“The line went down the block all morning and at one point I thought we should have made more pastries because it felt like the customers were going to buy the sinks off the walls,” laughed Meg Svec.
Well before opening the bakery, Molly was on the culinary path, but Meg had a comfortable career in software. Molly would frequently discuss wanting to open her own bakery, but after returning from a summer gig cooking on the east coast decided it was time to give it an earnest effort.
“I told her I would help her figure out the business side of things. I thought I would be in the corporate world forever, but it just snowballed, and I realized we were actually building a business together,” said Meg. “We are like peanut butter and jelly; we are best friends and have a great business partnership. She handles the culinary side and I play around with the business side.”
Since starting Spilt Milk both sisters have gotten married and started families. In the early days, before they had a brick-and-mortar, Meg and Molly sold baked goods at farmers markets and events. When they first opened their brick and mortar they were often alone in the shop unless their husbands stopped by after work to help with dishes. Now the hardworking sisters have a devoted staff who keep Spilt Milk running smoothly.
“Our team is 100% the reason we are here today,” said Meg, matter-of-factly. “Molly and I would never have been able to have our families and keep the business running, especially during a pandemic, without our staff.”
An unplanned expansion in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be among the highlights of the bakery’s existence thus far. When an unexpected plumbing issue rendered their Oak Park Avenue storefront unusable, the duo scrambled to move into a space around the corner that was nearly triple the size of their former home. The community rallied in support of Spilt Milk by contributing more than $60,000 to an Indiegogo campaign to help cover the costs of the build-out.
“We just want to reiterate how grateful we are to the community,” said Meg. “We know so many businesses didn’t make it through the pandemic, and we know our customers are the reason we couldn’t fail. They wouldn’t let us fail.”
As the Svec sisters look to the future they are excited to use their expanded space to its full production potential, but also want to be sure they are responsible with their expanded footprint. Spilt Milk became a carbon neutral business in summer of 2021 and the business owners are looking for ways to make their business even more eco-friendly. With sustainability in mind, they look forward to introducing a community composting program in the coming year and are looking at ways to utilize solar power to run the bakery in future.
In the meantime Meg and Molly Svec are readying themselves for a bustling holiday season making sweet treats for the community.