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Fritz Pastry, Popular Vegan Bakery, is Moving to Lincoln Park

By Erica Demarest | August 11, 2014 8:42am
 Fritz Pastry is moving to Lincoln Park. Head baker Jaime Podgorny launched a Kickstarter campaign to help with the transition.
Fritz Pastry
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LAKEVIEW — Fritz Pastry is moving to Lincoln Park — and its (new) owner wants your help.

Jaime Podgorny, 37, has been the Lakeview pastry shop's lead baker and general manager for the last two years.

She announced this month plans to buy the popular bakery and move to "a more convenient location" near Lincoln and Webster avenues. She also launched a $10,000 Kickstarter campaign to help cover costs.

"The lease was coming to an end on the space [at 1408 W. Diversey Pkwy.], so we had to kind of decide what the future of Fritz was going to be," Podgorny said.

Travis Schaffner, who owns Wormhole Coffee in Wicker Park, has owned Fritz Pastry since 2011.

The half-vegan, half-French pastry joint sells its sweets to Wormhole, Gaslight, New Wave and all four city Dollop locations — among others.

Podgorny said her dream was to own Fritz Pastry, so she made a down payment and started scouting new locations.

The spot she chose in Lincoln Park is ideal, she said, because it's close to public transit. The current location at Diversey and Southport doesn't get much foot traffic.

"We have a dedicated following on the weekends, but it's so hard for people to come here on the weekdays, and it's just not working for us," she said. "We're kind of depending on the weekends right now."

While details are still being finalized, Podgorny anticipates transitioning from Lakeview to Lincoln Park within the next two or three months.

The Kickstarter campaign, if successful, would help cover moving costs, renovations and a new oven.

Kickstarter only funds projects if a minimum donation is met. In Fritz Pastry's case, that's $10,000 by Sept. 10.

Podgorny is hopeful she'll get full funding — the campaign had already raised $2,000 in pledges by Sunday night — but said she'll open in Lincoln Park regardless.

The baker said Fritz Pastry has a loyal fan base, especially among Chicago's vegan community. When she joined the bakery two years ago, about 30 percent of its treats were vegan.

Now it's half.

"What we discovered was that people were really coming in the door for vegan items," she said. "There's not a lot of that in the city, so they don't have a lot of options.

"And for us, vegan does not mean 'good for you,'" she said with a laugh. "It's full of fat and sugar and all the things pastries should be full of. Vegans shouldn't be eating sawdust or be forced to eat soy all the time."

The Kickstarter campaign runs until Sept. 10.

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