Eat & Drink | Restaurants, Sweet Treats, Coffee & Tea

Courageous Bakery & Cafe

Meet us where courage is the key ingredient

This Oak Park bakery and cafe has a story founded in courage.

Laura Pekarik has always loved baking, but the cupcakes she baked for a fundraiser in 2010 had more meaning than anything she’d ever created in her kitchen. Her sister, Kathryn, was battling non-Hodgkins T-cell Lymphoma, and the cupcakes were for a fundraiser to help with the climbing medical costs.

Everything changed with the cancer diagnosis. Laura took a year off to help her sister, and she was touched by the courage Kathryn showed as she faced down the disease.

The fundraiser changed everything, too. People loved the cupcakes so much that it inspired Laura to launch a “Cupcakes for Courage” food truck. That led to a second food truck and two brick-and-mortar bakeries, including the location in Oak Park (the other location is in Elmhurst).

Today both sisters are involved in Courageous Bakery and Cafe where 10 percent of proceeds are donated to cancer-related charities. The bakery is expanded to include a full cafe offering a wide range of breakfast and lunch options

Everything at the bakery and cafe is made from scratch using all-natural ingredients, and all packaging is recyclable, unbleached, and plant-based to reduce the cafe’s environmental impact.

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Courageous Bakery and Cafe is open every day from 7am to 7pm. (The kitchen closes at 4pm.)


Of course, cupcakes are available at Courageous Bakery and Cafe, but the menu is expansive, offering a wide range of breakfast options like bagels and omelets and lunch options like sandwiches and salads. Fill up on an omelet or sandwich for about $11.

A specialty cupcake like the Double Chocolate or Pink Velvet is about $4 and an assorted box of a dozen cupcakes is $39.

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You may find owner and chief baker Laura or a recovered Kathryn at the bakery and cafe!

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Located at 736 Lake Street, Courageous Bakery and Cafe is just steps from the Oak Park Stop on the CTA Green Line.

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