Life is Sweet: Brown Sugar Bakery owner Stephanie Hart acquires the Cupid Candies factory to preserve Chicago’s chocolate heritage
CHICAGO– Delicious caramel, chocolate-covered potato chips, mint meltaways and turtles, and then there are the cake specialties to die for, including lemon, rainbow and a Chicago favorite, “The Obama,” with moist and buttery layers of yellow and dark chocolate cake.
All of this is the brainchild and creativity of Chicago’s own entrepreneur, Stephanie Hart, one of the few African American women who produces chocolate on a large scale in Chicago.
She founded I Hart Corporation, which owns the candy brands Brown Sugar Bakery and Life is Sweet. The inspiration for her dreams came from her mother and grandmother, who showed their love by baking delicious memories for her; She says her desserts “reflect my African American upbringing.”
Chicago was once the mecca of chocolate production, but that changed with an exodus of chocolate factories. In an effort to grow her “candy” business and ensure jobs stay in her hometown, Stephanie bought the Cupid Candies factory, which closed in 2019. She’s been a big part of the South Side landscape since 1956. The name “Life is Sweet” describes Stephanie’s life experience on Chicago’s South Side.
Stephanie has big plans to modernize the factory and expand business in her African American community, which also means her yummy treats will become nationally known. You can already find Life is Sweet candy at Macy’s and other retail outlets, and they are now available at airports across the country. Your delicious cakes are also shipped nationwide.
Stephanie reflects that “business is an opportunity for a little girl to walk by and see someone who started with nothing, followed their dream and created something.”
Her final piece of advice: “If they don’t have a chair for you at the table, bring your own, squeeze in, find out!”
To order, go to brownsugarbakerychicago.com.
https://abc7.com/chicago-chocolate-factory-candy-brown-sugar-bakery/12963432/ Life is Sweet: Brown Sugar Bakery owner Stephanie Hart acquires the Cupid Candies factory to preserve Chicago’s chocolate heritage