Bronzeville's Emeche Cakery and Cafe offers alcohol-infused sweets

Cafe moved to Bronzeville from Chicago Ridge Mall

Friday, October 9, 2020
Bronzeville's Emeche Cakery and Cafe offers alcohol-infused sweets
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Emeche Cakery and Cafe in Bronzeville offers more than just cookies and cupcakes with its alcohol-infused sweets.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Homemade sweets are on the menu inside a tiny Bronzeville cafe, literally built on an assortment of alcohol-infused cupcakes.

But the owner decided to move her business from the Chicago Ridge Mall into a permanent space just off of 35th Street, expanding it to include a lot more than just cupcakes and cookies.

The owner used to bake in Brooklyn but moved to Chicago and has since expanded her offerings. It's an all-day cafe with something for everyone, even vegans, but especially those with a sweet tooth.

Like a lot of cafes, the menu at Emeche Cakery and Cafe in Bronzeville leans toward coffee drinks, sandwiches and pastries. But Janell Richmond's creations are rooted in the boozy sweets she made while living in New York City.

"So when I started out, I was doing alcohol-infused cupcakes, so I wanted a name that said it. 'Emeche' means 'tipsy' in French," she said.

And so not surprisingly, that's where many of her all-stars lie.

"Our bourbon pecan pound cake is one of our top sellers," Richmond said.

But there are also savory items, quite a few actually, in both the breakfast and lunch categories.

"We offer everything from coffee to breakfast sandwiches, lunch sandwiches, salads. We're known for our sticky buns, which just so happen to be vegan," Richmond said.

See, it always comes back to sweets.

Whipped cream is beaten throughout the morning since dozens of jars need to be filled with her sweet parfaits or strawberries shortcake. There's also caramel and toffee and banana pudding, which alternates layers between whipped cream, a puck of banana bread, banana pudding, vanilla wafers, repeat.

"Before I moved into this space, we were at Chicago Ridge Mall, so a lot of our customers know us from there, where we sold the desserts in a jar," she said.

Donuts are tiny but mighty, a sugar-dusted apple cider or a chocolate-coconut are worth the caloric splurge; and while sandwiches seem to be the go-to at lunchtime, you'd be surprised how many people treat themselves.

"Most people that order sandwiches always end up with something sweet," Richmond said.

Open every day except Sunday, they also do catering.

Emeche Cakery & Cafe
3453 S. Prairie Ave.