PROSPECT HEIGHTS — After a local pie maker was diagnosed with cancer recently, fans of her Vanderbilt Avenue cafe have raised thousands of dollars to keep the shop afloat.
Meghan Daly of Daly Pie in Prospect Heights is starting chemotherapy for breast cancer next week, according to her longtime friend Colleen Venable, who created a GoFundMe campaign on behalf of the 35-year-old baker.
In three days, friends, family and anonymous donors have raised more than $14,000 for Daly, freeing her up to pay for extra staff and cover living expenses while she goes through a six-month treatment.
Venable described the year-old cafe at 665 Vanderbilt Ave. as a beloved meetup spot, particularly for a bookish crowd of local authors, editors, and artists who hang out there. Many book clubs, Venable’s included, also use the cafe for a meeting place, she said.
“We really do joke that it is ‘Cheers.’ You go in there and you wind up seeing four people that you know,” she said.
Venable started the GoFundMe with Daly’s permission, though it took a while for her to give the go-ahead because “she’s the kind of person who never wants to ask for help,” she said. But when Daly’s medical appointments took her away from the shop more regularly, the costs for hiring extra bakers and front-of-house staff added up.
“She was looking at the [budget] list and said to me one day, ‘You know, I don’t think we can do it,’” Venable recalled. “And she had kind of given up.”
In total, the GoFundMe campaign aims to raise $34,000 for Daly — $10,000 to cover staffing and $24,000 to cover her living expenses.
“We just didn’t want her to close the shop because of this. It’s the worst way for something that was going so well to close,” Venable said.
For more information or to donate, visit the Daly Pie GoFundMe campaign here.