More and more bakeries are taking a closer look at their ingredients from the sugar and the dairy products, to the fruit used in their tarts and cakes. It's a risky proposition because it requires higher prices. But at one Glenview bakery, it's business as usual, because organic isn't a trend, it's built into the bakery's name.
Despite its North Shore address, and the fact there are chains-a-plenty within a few blocks, Sweet Dreams Organic Bakery in Glenview offers a menu where everything is made on-site and the ingredient list is limited to organics.
"We use organic ingredients 100 percent and we do hand-stretched strudels and fresh squeezed juices," said Mary Sopcic, the owner of Sweet Dreams.
Sweets are a strong-suit here, whether they're deep, dark and rich brownies or lighter fruit tarts. Even cookies taste remarkably fresh and well-balanced, not the usual sugar-bomb. But the crowning achievement in the kitchen - and the one item seen on almost everyone's plate - is the homemade apple strudel, which contains chunks of apples, along with raisins, nutmeg and cinnamon. The recipe comes from a Croatian kitchen.
"I was a little girl when my Mom was doing strudels at home, I always watch her. I learn all I have to know about baking from my mom," said Sopcic.
Other notable sweets include filled cupcakes and much larger special-occasion cakes.. including a seasonal treat filled with strawberries and blueberries. They also offer plenty of "mini" treats such as palm-sized eclairs or fruit tarts. It's true that using only certified-organic items will run prices a bit higher, but it's a philosophy that is woven into the bakery's mission.
"It's good for us, it's good for your health and environment so I wouldn't go any other way," she said.
The bakery also makes a number of gluten-free and vegan baked goods. And the rest of the menu - from soups to salads and sandwiches - is all organic and quite good.
Sweet Dreams Organic Bakery
1107 Waukegan Rd.