The Bleeding Heart Organic Bakery - an Eco-friendly Business

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
May 02, 2009 / 0 comments

Now closed (alas!)...


When we were in Chicago last week, we were so excited to find an excellent organic bakery on Belmont in Chicago. We shared our thoughts about this organic bakery, the Bleeding Heart, right away! However, I also wanted to talk with the owner, Michelle Garcia, and find out the background of the bakery and more about sustainable agriculture and ecologically friendly businesses such as hers. The conversation was illuminating - and inspiring! Here's what Michelle had to say...



WE: Please tell us about your bakery, the Bleeding Heart Bakery...

MG: We began bleeding heart as a farmer's market stand 6 years ago. The sole purpose was to create delicious pastries made from local and organic ingredients at prices more accessible to all lifestyles.


bleeding heart organic bakery



WE: Why is sustainable agriculture important - and organic ingredients so critical to use?

MG: For me, this all comes from my love of my children. When I was   pregnant I did a lot of soul searching. I had been raised eating organics, but never understood why it was so important to my parents. Now I know. I want to help create a world for my children that is beautiful, safe, not "in danger" or "endangered". Using ingredients using Sustainable agriculture and supporting the organic industry is my way of doing that. Also, we recycle, use all biodegradable packing supplies, and compost.



WE: How can readers educate themselves on the importance of eco-friendly eating - and integrate that into their lives?

MG: The most important thing I see is that people need to read everything,  
all the labels on food and packaging and really know what it means.  
Support companies that go "all the way". I mean, it's great that some food companies are coming out with an organic version of their product, but have they actually cleaned up their company, or are they just jumping on the "green" band wagon?



WE: What is your food philosphy for your bakery?

MG: One word, fresh. We buy product in small quantities and make small  
batches, labor is high, but there is less waste and very little product just laid around. The good outweighs the bad ten-fold, but it's a different type of baker who can do this. Most bakeries nowadays buy everything boxes and just throw it in the oven.



WE: You also sell in markets - how can people find you?

MG: We have a list of our current markets on our website, but if you sign  
up for our newsletter, you will receive current and up to date information about markets, special events and even coupons.



WE: What is it like to run a business that is at the forefront of the eco-conscious movement?

MG: Life is easier now than it was, but at first, I felt like no one understood what I was trying to do. The compnaies making Eco-friendly products and the organic farmers were not yet ready for food service and the high demands, but it has improved by leaps and bounds. It's funny, we really were the first ones doing this in Chicago completely, a few people were, and they had one organic product or used one Eco-friendly cleaner and screamed that they were green. When we started, I didn't want to shove it down people's throats, I wanted people to like the food for what it was, not because it is in corn cellophane and a tree free bag.



WE: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

MG:  We are just at awe with the industry and are so grateful for all the  
chances we have been given.

WE: Thanks so very much, Michelle. Your work is inspiring! and your food -  Delicious!

For more information, please see:

The Bleeding Heart Bakery
Chicago, IL


bleeding heart organic bakery