By Brittany Wiley
BAPA Business Liaison
Kim Mesa opened KimmyKakes Café & Bakery, 10225 S Western in March. She began by serving artisan cakes and sweets with coffee. Shortly following her opening, Mesa introduced a savory menu for lunch, and she continues to serve both in the café.
Mesa grew up baking with her grandmother every day after school. She was then given culinary encouragement by her mother, who allowed Mesa free rein to “cook, bake and experiment” in the kitchen at home.
Mesa’s love for baking never ceased and, once her four children grew older and she was ready to pursue a career, she chose to create her own business.
KimmyKakes began as a small at-home operation, with Mesa selling to friends and family until she had the opportunity to offer her cheesecakes at the Englewood Whole Foods. A Whole Foods forager discovered Mesa’s delicious cheesecake and helped Mesa through her licensing process so she could get her foot in the commercial door.
KimmyKakes cheesecakes are now sold at 13 Chicagoland Whole Foods. Mesa hopes to continue expanding to other stores in the Midwest and nationwide.
Along with wholesale items, Mesa offers catering for restaurants and events. When the pandemic forced her to slow down this side of her business, her focus shifted to the cafe space at 102nd and Western, which was secured in 2019.
Now at the café, Mesa is able to bring that experimentation from childhood back into her recipes. She wants her food to be “accessible but unique and different.” Her husband is Cuban and she loves incorporating the tropical flavors, spices and cooking techniques from his background into her food. From Cuban sandwiches to Guava Dulce de Leche to Passion Fruit Cheesecake, the marriage of flavors is evident in myriad menu items.
Mesa and her husband currently reside in Ashburn, very close to Beverly/Morgan Park. They are so happy to have the café close to home in a family-friendly neighborhood. “Everyone that has come in has been very supportive and friendly,” Mesa said.
Keep an eye out for some exciting new offerings coming to the café in June, including afternoon tea and brunch. Mesa will also begin catering again! Stop into KimmyKakes for more information, to try their popular brisket tacos or Mesa’s famous cheesecake. Hours: Tues.– Sat., 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Follow the KimmyKakes journey at Facebook.com/kimmykakesco.