WICKER PARK — A new bakery that plans to open later this month on Wicker Park's Division Street will be packed with pastries offering "new and exciting flavor combinations," according to its head baker.
The decor at A Baker's Tale, 2127 W. Division St., is whimsical, with colorful plush chairs. A tree sculpture with leaves that are pages from "Alice in Wonderland" hangs over the front part of the bakery.
The bakery's owner, Christine LaSorda, will serve as A Baker's Tale's executive pastry chef. She said the bakery hopes to open in mid-March and it will offer several types of baked goods, such as "the classics that people already love", but also have items with "flavors that people have never seen together before."
Originally from Ontario, Canada, LaSorda grew up in Michigan and moved to Chicago two years ago for culinary school.
LaSorda said she did not know building owner Bill Rancic of reality TV fame or Rancic's real estate business partner, Bert Connolly, prior to looking at the storefront, which recently went up for rent in Rancic's newly-constructed building.
"Once we decided we were interested in renting, we met [with Rancic] to discuss the business we were proposing to go in the space, and he then provided us with the incredible opportunity to be filmed for their reality show ["Giuliana & Bill"]. I don't know how much will air, but it was great opportunity nonetheless," LaSorda said.
While the bakery will seat 40 people inside, there will be an outdoor patio for an additional 24 in the warmer months, LaSorda said.
In an email to DNAinfo Chicago, LaSorda said the bakery will "offer cupcakes, muffins, scones, cream puffs, eclairs, tarts, pies, bars, cookies and macaroons... and that's just our phase 1 menu!"
Some menu items which LaSorda conceived along with creative director Danielle Lara, who will also be assisting with baking, include a homemade s'more with either chocolate-swirled marshmallow fluff or peanut butter.
Other pastries devised by LaSorda include a banana split eclair with fresh sliced bananas, strawberry, chocolate and vanilla mousse scoops dipped in chocolate ganache and topped with whipped cream, peanuts and a cherry.
"We also offer a honey cupcake filled with blueberry compote filling and a basil butter cream that I think will pleasantly surprise people," LaSorda added.
The bakery, which will employ a staff of 18, will eventually offer vegan and gluten-free options, too, LaSorda said.
Currently Division Street is home to many bakeries and coffee shops, including Letizia's Natural Bakery at 2144 W. Division St. and the famed Alliance Bakery at 1736 W. Division St, known for its elaborate cakes.
"I chose Division Street because it just seems like such an incredible area right now," LaSorda said. "Wicker Park in general has a lot to offer, but to be right in the thick of it on Division Street was something I couldn't pass up."
"The type of people that frequent the area are the exact kind of people that we believe would really enjoy our product," she added.
A Baker's Tale, 2127 W. Division St. Hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tues-Saturday; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Ph: 872-206-5581.