Catalyst Ranch is Chicago's most creative Meeting and Special Events Space.

Kelly outside

 

Name: Kelly Lynch

 

Name of your Company: Scafuri Bakery

 

 

  • Tell us about your business and its history or a story of inception.
    Scafuri Bakery was started by my great great grandfather in 1904 after he
    immigrated to America from Calabria, Italy. It was a staple part of the
    Little Italy neighborhood for over 100 years. His daughter Annette took
    over in the 1950’s and ran the business as well as a few others over the
    decades. In 2007, as she was nearing 90 years of age, she closed the
    family business. A few years later, my aunt Michelle and I, hoping to carry
    on the family tradition, renovated the space and reopened the bakery in
    2013. The neighborhood was thrilled and we still have daily visitors
    stopping in to tell us they used to visit this bakery ‘back in the day.’
    We are a traditional Italian bakery in a contemporary world. We try to
    marry the old and the new: We still make many of the recipes passed
    down through generations, as well as popular pastries and specialty cakes
    for wedding and events. We have a cafe and coffee menu that keep us
    very busy on weekends, and we even ship our classic Italian cookies
    across the country through our online store.

 

  • What is the most fascinating part of your business that people wouldn’t know
    about?  That it’s not nearly as glamorous as tv shows make it out to be. Baking in
    a commercial kitchen is very physically demanding and often tedious. But
    being able to show something from your work at the end of each day is
    very satisfying.

 

  • If you could tell your younger self one thing about the business that would prove
    invaluable, what would it be?  When I got started, I had a vague idea that it would be a lot of work.
    Nothing can really prepare you for the amount of energy and
    commitment starting and running a business really requires. At the same
    time, nothing can really prepare you for how invigorating and satisfying
    that challenge can be. Though I probably wouldn’t tell my younger self
    this, because it’s one of those things you have to learn by doing. I would
    tell her to delegate as much as possible. And I’d give her all of the Excel
    formulas and tips that I’ve learned over the years that make the business
    stuff so much easier! (Pivot tables changed my life!)

 

  • Where was your last vacation and what is your dream vacation?
    I try to go on one big vacation a year. Last year was Guatemala and this
    month I will be heading to Dominican Republic for a much needed break
    between Mardi Gras and Easter, two of our biggest holidays. I also
    recently went to Harry Potter World which was magical. (I’m a
    Ravenclaw.)

 

  • What is your favorite saying or your “words to live by”?  “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Kelly and ladies

 

  • What was the most influential book you ever read?  I love reading (I’m all about Audible these days) and I don’t think I could pick just one influential book. But my favorite novel is House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende.

 

  • What’s your favorite thing about partnering with Catalyst Ranch?  I attended an event at Catalyst Ranch a while ago and thought the space and concept was genius and incredibly fun. I love businesses that do things a little differently. Partnering with CR made so much sense and I hope our breakfast pastries will add to the great experience of the visitors!

 

  • What artist, living or dead, do you want making the portrait of you for your
    museum?  I’d like my portrait to be a live musical theater performance with large
    group numbers. The whole museum would be a multi-media interactive
    experience where visitors could explore their creativity in various ways.
    That’d be fun.

 

  • What are you most proud of?  Definitely the bakery. I’m proud at how far we’ve come these past four years. I’m proud of where we’ll go from here, though I don’t quite know what that looks like yet!

Scafuri Bakery logo

About the Author: