Biteable serves downtown Lockport bite-sized baked goods, gourmet coffee

After years working under others Sylvia Pawlak, left, and Kristen Bowling came together to open their own bakery Biteable Baked Goods in downtown Lockport.

Lockport — Any baker can tell you the importance of chemistry in getting a recipe just right. The same can be said for business partnerships such as the one responsible for the creation of Biteable, a startup bakery in downtown Lockport.

“I took a side job decorating cakes at a bakery, and within five minutes of meeting Sylvia there, I knew we were going to be friends forever,” said Kristen Bowling, referring to her co-owner at the shop, Sylvia Pawlak. “We talked about it, and we decided to open our own shop because we wanted to make things for people who might be on a budget who still want gourmet items.”

After years working under others Sylvia Pawlak, left, and Kristen Bowling came together to open their own bakery Biteable Baked Goods in downtown Lockport.

Biteable opened at 1022 S. State St. in Lockport on Aug. 17 after Pawlak and Bowling acquired the space in May.

“It was a now-or-never sort of moment with the space,” Bowling said, “so we decided to give it a try.”

Much of Biteable’s menu is focused on – as the name suggests – smaller portions that can be enjoyed by an individual on the go.

“We want people to come in a get something for themself,” Bowling said. “We deliver product in a simpler way so you can eat it in the car or on the street.”

Some of the bakery’s most popular items so far have proven to be their snack-sized bars, including a lemon blueberry crumble bar, a seasonal pumpkin cheesecake bar and Pawlak’s signature creation, the s’mores bar, which not only sells out regularly but helped bring another partner to the business.

“I started out trying to be a coffee catering cart,” said Nour Zein, who operates Blissful Brewing coffee company. “I tried their s’mores bar, and they tried my s’mores cold brew, and we fell in love. I needed a space, and they needed coffee, so we’re kinda known as a team now.”

Cupcakes sit in the display case at Biteable Baked Goods in downtown Lockport on Wednesday, Oct. 18.

Blissful Brewing set up shop inside Biteable earlier in October, and the two businesses have found they complement each other well and have helped grow both brands’ customer bases.

“It’s worked out way better than we ever could have dreamed,” Bowling said.

Zein creates her coffee recipes using coffee from Gost Coffee Roasters in New Lenox, while Pawlak and Bowling create their own recipes, including vegan and gluten-free options, as well as treats for dogs.

Looking to be unique

Although the entrepreneurs hope to hire more help for their shop in the coming months, it’s a three-woman operation for now, with occasional help from friends and family and daily operations spearheaded by 22-year-old Pawlak.

“Baking has always been a passion of mine,” Pawlak said. “I did it as a hobby, and then I just got stronger at it when I started working at a bakery.”

Bowling said her business partner is “like an artist,” as she is created the complex, layered bars, which Zein calls “layers of deliciousness.”

“They are really the perfect balance between sweetness and letting the natural flavors shine,” Zein said.

Part of Pawlak and Bowling’s mission in starting Biteable was to “go a little outside the box.”

“We didn’t want to be just a cupcake shop or a place to get cakes for parties,” Bowling said. “We wanted to do stuff that your family might make but with a modern twist.”

Biteable, one of the chocolate sponsors at the 2023 Shorewood HUGS chocolate ball fundraiser provided a tray off miniature desserts at the event in Joliet on Saturday, February 4, 2023.

Bowling also noted that they make sure they have quality ingredients while keeping a reasonable price.

Moving forward, Pawlak said, they want to grow the café and build their profits.

Although the goal is not to open more locations, the owners plan to begin offering more food options on their menu and possibly expand into breakfast and lunch offerings.

The pair wants to continue coming up with new flavor options, some of which they seek opinions on via social media.

“We went in a little blind, and there was definitely a learning curve, but Lockport has been extremely supportive,” Bowling said. “The residents are amazing, and the other businesses who are our neighbors all offered help when we got started. We really couldn’t ask for anything better.”

After being warmly welcomed by the community, Biteable and Blissful Brews already are working to get involved in local events, including downtown Lockport’s upcoming trick-or-treat event Oct. 28, where they plan to pass out baked treats for kids and possibly coffee samples or coupons for parents.

Biteable’s baked treats and Blissful Brews coffee are available from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and from 8 a.m. to noon Sundays.