Most of us look forward to the sweet treats you only see around the holidays -- like the gingerbread cookies and chocolate yule logs. When they make those delights at one North Side bakery they say they aren't just looking out for your taste buds. They're also doing their part to protect the planet.
There's chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate, and plenty of other goodies to go around. Here at the Bleeding Heart Organic Bakery all of the pastries have one thing in common.
"Ninety-five percent of everything we use is organic, and then the other stuff is technically organic but not certified organic. It comes from farmers that don't use pesticides, they're just not certified," said Alisha Longhurst, cake decorator.
The Roscoe Village sweet shop had the distinction of being one of the first certified organic bakeries in the country. It relinquished the title recently so it could patronize more small, local farmers who used sustainable practices, but lacked the pricey "certified organic" seal.
"The thing that really makes us stand out is our emphasis on using quality products and being very aware of where all of our food comes from," said Katie Bradley, pastry cook.
From certified organic wheat and rye flour to organically grown cocoa and evaporated cane juice, which is sugar before it's processed, this bakery takes extra care to ensure the ingredients they use are grown in a way that is both good for the earth and good for humankind.
"Our cocoa is organic, and it's from Bolivia, and I know that company takes a lot of steps to make sure they're not only organic, but that they're also socially responsible," said Bradley. "Our position here is that we want to make sure that we eat things that we are proud of and make things for others that we're proud of."
The Bleeding Heart Bakery also has vegan and gluten-free options.
Links to Chicago-area organic bakeries: