Our Story | Part 3

Part 3: Jeanine + Lauren

We met in Providence, Rhode Island a few years ago at culinary school. Jeanine tried to impress Lauren with her everything bagel recipe and all around magical baking skills. And it worked. It all started with Jeanine’s love of breads and fermentation, our need for a fun, productive outlet together, and an obsession with farmers markets! In Virginia, a great bagel was few and far between. Einstein’s was a Sunday treat…

Our goal with The Kitchen Sink Chicago was to bring New York style bagels to the Midwest, using ingredients from the region. We are keeping things simple with everything and plain varieties - all or nothing, similar to our personalities.

Our flour is 70% whole grain, local and organic accompanied by homemade cultured butter, flavored cream cheese and fruit jam. We felt very passionate about supporting local farms and making things a little more nutritious. Sales operate out of the Independence Park Farmers Market every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month from 9-1pm. We LOVE dogs, fun socks and the indie rock station on Spotify.

 ~ I am going to be completely honest here ~

We were trying to meet a market deadline, working full-time jobs, without understanding a thing about starting a business (says Lauren). We ran all over town, made a million phone calls and got into about 17 different screaming matches with each other. Honestly, I did not realize that we had to establish our business to sell at the farmers market – get a LLC, tax license, insurance, business license, accountant, website, Instagram, ETC. The name was easy - everything but, The Kitchen Sink Chicago. The products were thrilling – homemade cultured butter, flavored cream cheese, and fruit jam. The photographer, designer, CPA and farmers were a breeze to work with! We knew we wanted to sell at a market because sourcing was top priority, no rent for brick and mortar, and real community vibe. I always have such a wonderful, stress-free time wandering around the farmers market and assumed becoming a vendor would feel the same.

You know what they say about assuming things…

With all that said, we turned in our completed application. About 2 weeks later, I got an email from the manager at the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce saying they had chosen other businesses for the 2018 summer market. We were disappointed and discouraged, but I was on the phone with Greg from Independence Park Farmers Market within the hour. He answered the phone from a brewery tour in Michigan and made us feel incredibly welcome. We didn’t have the choice to give up now. To this day, I think this change was for the better.


Alex Fuller