DNAinfo/Howard A. Ludwig
WOODLAWN — Laine’s Bake Shop is moving to Woodlawn from Morgan Park to build a new production bakery to meet rising demand.
The bake shop started in 2013 by husband-and-wife team Jaryd and Rachel Bernier-Green is expanding quickly and will quadruple its space when it moves to 6429 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
The bakery has a new deal with Whole Foods to expand from its Illinois stores to start selling at its stores across the Midwest.
“My vision is to become a Chicago-centric national brand,” Rachel Bernier-Green said Thursday.
She said she expects to sign a lease on the new building before September and to open in the winter.
She said the building will give them room to open a retail location. It will also quadruple the amount of space for production as they work through negotiations with Starbucks to expand from selling at its coffee shops in Chicago to getting a spot on shelves around the country, Bernier-Green said.
It’s a quick expansion for the business that’s still manned exclusively by Bernier-Green, her husband and her parents, with the occasional hand from siblings.
“We’re still a pretty small company,” Bernier-Green said. “On a day-to-day basis it doesn’t feel like it’s happening that fast.”
She said they will close the Morgan Park location, but still are working on a retail location in Pullman and looking for a possible location in Bronzeville.
But Bernier-Green said she’s not tempted to accelerate the expansion with franchises.
The company keeps tight control over its priorities to hire from the neighborhoods hardest hit by joblessness in the city, work with local job-training programs and prioritize vendors that share their commitment to underserved communities.
She said they would like the company to become employee-owned as it expands.
There is still a long way to go toward realizing some of those goals, as Laine’s Bake Shop hires its first employees outside of Bernier-Green’s immediate family to help run the expanded bakery.
Her commitments went over well at a Wednesday night 20th Ward meeting where Bernier-Green pitched the new bakery to the community and won over Ald. Willie Cochran, who will need to sign off on the sale of city-owned land that will become a lot for delivery trucks.
“We’re committed to doing this on the South Side,” Bernier-Green said