Chocolate Industry

Ganache Bakery opened in Morton Grove, taking over from Maier’s.

Morton Grove’s newest bakery owner learned his trade in a multilingual kitchen.

“I worked under a French pastry chef in a French bakery in Glencoe,” said Jorge Santizo. “His tenacity made a difference for me. He spoke French. I spoke Spanish, so we couldn’t understand each other. I just followed his lead (working the ovens).

Everything Santizo, a native of Guatemala, learned in 30 years in the bakery business is now applied to Ganache, which opened Oct. 22 in the former storefront of Maier’s Bakery at 9328 Waukegan Road, Morton Grove. Ganache, a type of French cake icing, is appropriate as Santizo aims to make European-style cakes its specialty.

A steady stream of curious customers came to Ganache for its opening, greeted by displays filled with chocolate cakes, green princess pies, cannolis, éclairs, fruit tarts, coffee cakes and smiley cookies. of the season. Sweeter stocks are coming soon as Santizo expands his business, against some retail bakery headwinds.

Jorge Santizo, the French-trained owner of Ganache Bakery in Morton Grove, and manager Cynthia Ramirez hold a <a class=chocolate cake.” src=”https://www.chicagotribune.com/resizer/Qq90UvoFQeImepIrGpCBptRHeVA=/1440×0/filters:format(jpg):quality(70)/cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/tronc/ZJLTX6FWXNGERCNZSIZG2B54LE.jpg” width=”1440″ height=”0″ loading=”lazy”/>

“I’m one of the crazy people who opens a (retail) business,” Rogers Park resident Santizo said of an industry where neighborhood bakeries like Maier’s and Dinkel’s in Chicago have closed while that online companies have tried to get into cakes and cookies. Supply Chain. But Santizo said he had to try, with cooking in his blood.

“I still trust the idea of ​​an old-fashioned bakery and my skills,” he said. ” I love to cook. I like to see the smiles of the customers.

Santizo had opened his first bakery at Montrose and Damen Avenues in Chicago in 2007, but lost his lease when the new owners opted out of having tenants. He then worked at the now-closed Swedish Bakery in the Andersonville neighborhood, then served as general manager of another bakery he declined to identify.

He heard about the vacant storefront after Maier closed. He went on vacation to Guatemala when he had his last epiphany.

“I texted the owner of the property to reserve space for me,” he said. He started planning Ganache a year ago.

Explaining his new business as he sat on a bench outside the bakery on a summer day for his grand opening, Santizo smiled when he spotted a mother and her two sons entering his store. It must have been a decent sale.

So were the contents of a bag held by Rosemarie Alioto, a Morton Grove resident of 20 years who frequented Maier’s. It contained fresh pie for herself, cookies for her grandchildren, and slices of apple.

“I’m very happy to have a local bakery in Morton Grove,” Alioto said. “Otherwise you should go to Mariano’s or Jewel’s. I’m sad that Maier is gone. We need to support Morton Grove family businesses.

“Everything here looks amazing.”

With its experience in French and Swedish bakeries, Santizo will feature the products of these strong bakery cultures. A huge plate of cannolis proved to include Italian pastries. He will accept customer requests for other European-style delicacies and try to put his own spin on the recipe.

“All I need is to google it,” he said.

For now, Santizo will not offer gluten-free products despite some requests. However, as he establishes his business, he will “lean into” gluten-free. It will also offer its own brand of coffee.

Rosemarie Alioto, a customer of the former Maier's Bakery in Morton Grove, tries out pastries from Ganache Bakery, which recently opened at Maier's former location at 9328 Waukegan Road, Morton Grove.

Son Steven Santizo completes Ganache website. The elder Santizo hired his initial staff from people he knew in the bakery business, but plans to hire additional workers. People interested in jobs can contact him at the bakery.

Ganache hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Santizo said he would consider Sunday hours in the future.