Chicagoan’s will be introduced to the first 100% vegan bakery Pie, Pie My Darling which will open up this summer August 2017 in Lakeview. From classic Funfetti cakes to Lemon Meringue pies, Pie, Pie My Darling offers every sweet diabetic delicacy for vegans and omnivores.
Waking up at 3 in the morning and baking 40-50 vegan pastries is anything but foreign for baker Heather Bondine-Lederman. To set herself up for success, she blasts a punk rock playlist on Spotify and constantly checks her Instagram account for orders or she uploads pictures of her whimsical pastries.
One Instagram post reads, “Surprise! Our Vegan Funfetti Cake is now available by the slice at both @handlebarchicago & @kitchen17chicago all month long! Get at it babes! #vegancakeporn.
For the vegan introvert, social media is the key to communication. Time is always scarce for Bondine-Lederman as she usually clocks in 80 hours a week and works independently. “I’m a very independent person and prefer to do things on my own. I get lots of offers from people who want to work with me, but at this time I’m actually so busy that I don’t have time to go about doing the whole hiring process”. Said Bondine-Lederman.
Bondine-Lederman’s menu consists of 21 different cakes, 17 pies, variety of cookies and brownies on her menu. Whether she is filling or smoothing vanilla buttercream on a layered cookie cake, or adding fresh fruit to her pies, each pastry is perfectly constructed and scrutinized.
This past Valentine’s Day Bondine-Lederman created heart shaped sugar cookies with pink glazed frosting. Each cookie contained a white frosted reference to song or a movie. One of the sugar cookies read “as if” from the 90’s film Clueless.
Bondine-Lederman is typically booked 1-2 months in advance and her favorite item to bake is her Funfetti Cake. “It’s my top seller and it’s super fun and easy to make, and it’s so nostalgic. Brings back childhood memories.” Said Bondine-Lenderman.
60% of Bondine-Lederman’s customers are vegan and 40% are non-vegan. Bondine-Lederman’s goal is to make desserts that are satisfying for everyone, not just vegans. It brings a smile to her face when non-vegan customers reach out and say that they prefer her treats over other dairy and egg-filled sweets they’ve had.
Bondine-Lederman selected the name Pie, Pie My Darling to reference the late 70’s horror punk band the Misfits. Her inspiration comes from their popular hit Die, Die My Darling. Her instagram page is also quoted, “sweet pies for the misfit soul”. “Sweet pies for the misfit soul was my little shout out to them (Misfits) for inspiring the name. I also think that vegans inherently are misfits, they are outsiders and go against the grain, so it fits”. Said Bondine-Lederman.
Bondine-Lederman has been a devout vegan for eight years and is excited to have pastry options for vegans. “At first it was pretty hard to hard to find vegan options but in the last 4-5 years there have been so many advances for vegans in the Chicago area. There are tons of local vegan businesses now, and lots of non-vegan restaurants that now offer vegan items on the menu too, so it’s never a struggle for me to find things to eat”. Said Bondine-Lederman.
Depaul Communication studies professor Barb Willard has been vegetarian since 1989 but considers herself a vegan. “I would consider visiting Pie, Pie My Darling. I don’t buy any dairy or egg products for my own home and I mostly eat at home”.
Popular chains that offer vegan and vegetarian baked goods in Chicago are Whole foods, Chicago Diner and Native Foods Cafe.
Sophomore Maeve Sheridan has been a devout vegan for three years after she was diagnosed as lactose intolerant. “I mostly followed the vegan diet for health reasons, but as my knowledge around the topic grew, it became more of a lifestyle for me. The environmental impact of animal products are much more important”. Said Sheridan.
Sheridan heard about Pie, Pie My Darling opening up in an article on FaceBook. “Pie, Pie My Darling sounds awesome to me. Bakery items are rarely vegan so it’ll be nice to have some options”.
Bondine-Lenderman loves being her own boss and loves the ultimate artistic and creative freedom that she has. She plans on emulating rockabilly and punk decor and wants to add a 1950’s retro feel to her bakery with diner tables and neon signs. She plans on expanding and opening more vegan bakeries in the future. “My baked goods still contain all the sugary goodness that you’d expect in a dessert-just no eggs or dairy, which really don’t provide much flavor in the first place. Keep an open mind and remember that food is food, and if it tastes good, who the hell cares if it’s vegan”. Said Bondine-Lenderman.
Pie Pie My Darling will open August of this year and will be located at 613 W. Briar Place, Chicago.