We are so excited to feature one of Elgin’s own, Herb’s Bakery, for our Vendor Spotlight this week. We had a chance to chat with Wendy, who runs the shop alongside her brother. This mom and pop shop has been in business since 1954. Wendy’s father, Herb, opened the bakery along with his mother.
Out of Herb’s five kids who worked there, Wendy and her brother remain. Wendy focuses on the designs and decorates the cakes (among other things) and her brother does all the baking along with another pastry chef/baker.
Wendy attended the Wilton Cake Decorating school. She also had the opportunity to learn through RBA (Retail Bakers of America) and hands-on with some very talented bakers/decorators over the years.
I enjoy doing this, because—well, the look on someone’s face when they get that cake or wedding dessert they asked for and they love it is priceless.
Wendy also loves that the creativity never stops.
There’s always something new coming out the bakers came up with, a new product, to try with weddings or any celebration.
What sets us apart from others is first, we literally create, make and bake everything right here. Besides your traditional wedding cakes or cupcakes, we are able to do Sweets Tables, Donut Bars, and Bavarian-style German Pretzel Bars. We have some very creative people on staff who happen to love food!
On average, Herb’s Bakery does about 180 wedding cakes and about 30 alternative dessert/donut/German Pretzel weddings a year.
Because I/we don’t work for a big corporation, we literally can do what we want! So much to try, just looking at other aspects of a wedding gives you so many ideas.
We love to hear that Herb’s Bakery has enjoyed working with The Haight since day one, literally day one. The first wedding they did at The Haight was actually our very first wedding!
They were even a part of our grand opening on June 25, 2015!
Every one there is easy to work with, absolutely beautiful venue and very unique. There are always fun weddings or birthday parties! The Haight family is one of the most creative and friendly groups of people to talk to and deal with. The staff that coordinates all the events—Briana and company—is great. “Big Corporate” it is not! Briana brings in some very unique wedding vendors for the brides and grooms to talk to and see what they do.
Honestly? The Haight is a place Elgin needed for a long time, it is one place in the area we always suggest first for any function.
Wendy’s advice for newly engaged couples is to first, remember it is YOUR wedding. Do not try to please every family member or guest with your dessert choices.
There’s so much out there to look at, don’t overwhelm yourselves with 100 cake photos. Be prepared, many custom cakes do come with a hefty price tag on them. Another unique cake alternative—“The Fake Cake”’—works great for smaller weddings. Think about what other foods you are serving; ask what will work with what you have food-wise. Some of the most wonderful weddings we have done were actually very simple, and elegant ones.