Shortbread and caramel candy bars don't usually share space with cupcakes and fresh breads, but at the year-old Cacao Sweets & Treats bakery in Grayslake, there are no hard and fast rules. What you see in the case is the accumulation of years of amateur baking prowess.
"I grew up in the area and I always said that one day I would open my bakery here because we never had one. We never had any bakery, let alone a good bakery," said Candice Hunsinger, owner of the bakery.
Hunsinger covers all of the bases: homemade Snickers bars and brownies; tiny chocolate sandwich cookies and cinnamon rolls. But the addition of layer cakes is relatively new. For instance, her four-layer chocolate cake with peanuts and pretzels wasn't available initially. It came much later, after a steady stream of business.
"I think starting a little bit small and getting people to be madly in love with what you do is the best way to do it and keep growing from there," she said.
One of Hunsinger's proudest accomplishments is her bread program. She can make about seven different types of bread, but only sells two flavors each day.
"Our fresh breads, I think, are really popular. You don't have any fresh bread in the suburbs here. So making fresh bread, which we do here daily," she said.
Homemade candy bars, whoopie pies, chocolate bourbon pecan cupcakes...they're all great, but honestly, I always tend to gravitate toward the simple stuff, the basics. Chocolate chip cookie for me of course.
The bakery also has a private room for wedding showers and birthday parties.
Cacao Sweets & Treats
122 Center St., Grayslake