Broken Tart did it. Surviving the first year is a milestone for small businesses. What was once a coin-laundry at 1108 Chicago Ave. has established itself as a beloved bakery. The owners, sisters Krissy and Katie Mack, are humbled and overjoyed that their sweet dream was embraced by the community.
Katie Mack remembers the opening. “When we were trying to plan for this, we just didn’t know. How many scones are we going to sell in a day — like 12, like 24?” She got her answer, “The demand has been crazy. Thank you to the community for such amazing support since day one.”
Customers have quickly picked favorites. Some have called the kale scone “life changing.” Others are devotees of the overnight oats, ginger crème cookies, sweet or savory biscuits, or the citrus-glazed olive oil cake.
Chef Krissy Mack is attracted to ingredients that are both intriguing and, of course, delicious. She says she doesn’t follow trends, but she does enjoy introducing flavors. “I like buckwheat flour. Not everywhere, but it has the most amazing texture.”
Katie Mack who came to the endeavor with marketing skills adds, “Being in the culinary scene you want to try something that’s interesting. But I think we have something for everybody.”
For lunch, there is a daily focaccia and at the end of the week, “Sandwich Friday.” Cakes continue to be an important part of the business too. To satisfy demand they usually require a seven-day advance order. Not to be forgotten, the sisters are also proud of their beverage program, which includes coffee from Big Shoulders and Ruby Coffee Roasters.
Supporting other local businesses is something Krissy and Katie are excited to have the opportunity to do. One example is on select Saturdays this year they have partnered with Mood, just across the street, to host Le Marche, a Parisian-style street market with a curated selection of food, fashion, antiques, and art vendors.
The sidewalk patio in front of Broken Tart has also become a draw.
“We like to be a community spot,” said Katie Mack.
To keep that going as the weather turns crisp, the two are already imagining how they can extend the patio season, especially when Christmas trees arrive in the lot across the street.
Both sisters agree. “We want people to bring their kids and get a hot chocolate. It’s very Hallmark. We want to continue to deliver delicious products and experiences.”
1108 Chicago Ave, Oak Park
Tuesday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sunday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.