Two Wild Seeds
Two Wild Seeds is a fresh take on what you’d expect from a bakery. Run by a “wildly” artistic family team, the store’s creative vision, unique gluten-free treats, and down-home style make it a St. Charles gem.
Do you ever meet a family and think, gosh, those are some DAMN GOOD genetics?
If you haven’t yet met them, let me introduce you to great-genetics holders Susan Kritzberg and her daughters, Katie Kritzberg and Leslie Sabella. This incredibly artistic trio of ladies have bounced onto the Fox Valley scene with their business, Two Wild Seeds.
While many businesses need to hire consultants and employees to handle many day–to-day specialty tasks, this family seems to be all set. Two Wild Seeds is really a culmination of all their experiences. Susan’s art background and passion for cooking, Katie’s journalism background and professional culinary training, and Leslie’s artwork and design skills all contribute to how the business is run. Talk about talent!
Susan and Katie grew their brick-and-mortar business quite organically. About six years ago, Leslie was planning her wedding and asked her family to use their culinary talents to make a gorgeous cake. Guests raved about it being the best wedding cake they had ever tasted, and the requests started pouring in. What started out as favors for close family and friends eventually landed them in a Geneva co-op kitchen under their original business name of Blackberry Baking Company. This was perfect for Katie, who had recently left her journalism and culinary career in the city to regain her hometown roots in the Fox Valley area.
Katie began changing her diet to gluten-free to improve her health, and at the same time, many people started to request gluten-free baked goods. Susan and Katie, noticing the trend, decided to run with the idea. They soon became known as a go-to place for gluten-free sweets on Third Street.
They soon outgrew the co-op spot, and knew it was time to develop their own space. While choosing the name Two Wild Seeds seemed easy (check out their site to learn more!), finding the perfect spot proved to be challenging. They had nearly exhausted all area location options when the perfect opportunity in downtown St. Charles landed in their lap! To top it off, the City of St. Charles and the Downtown St. Charles Partnership were incredibly welcoming and accommodating, Susan and Katie raved.
The space they selected was essentially a big white box, they said. They needed to do a complete build out to transform it into their ideal space. Having worked in some of the best kitchens Chicago had to offer, Katie knew what would and would not work in terms of layout. She and Susan used their combined culinary experiences to choose equipment, but found that the hundreds of choices from vendors made this aspect the most challenging part of opening the business. They took over the space in January 2016 and worked hard to have it officially open in May 2016.
I love how the interior of Two Wild Seeds has a homegrown, rustic farmhouse feel to it. Susan and Katie explained they wanted to create an authentic, Midwestern spot that could showcase art, re-purposed pieces from local antique shops, and small batch products. The previous occupant of the space had left behind huge rustic shelving, which they turned into the warm wood counter you see now. Katie feels it really anchors the rustic look with its warm color and loves that it could be re-purposed.
You’ll see plenty of other vintage items also. The cake banner was an item from her sister, Leslie’s, former boutique in Yorkville, and the glass bottles on the tables were leftover from a wedding they catered. Katie explained that they forgot to order small holders for the tables, so two days before they opened they used a branch from a tree in their yard to craft rustic ones. They describe themselves as lifetime antique pickers, and were able to cash in on a few local stores for some of the furniture pieces you see in the space.
A large canvas painted by Susan, depicting her son’s sweet table at his wedding, hangs on one of the walls, and Leslie’s creative card collection is available for purchase in the store. In fact, Leslie handles most of the merchandising for the store all the way from the west coast. They also feature many local and small batch items onsite such as honey from Heritage Prairie Farms, FreshGround coffee out of Geneva, and custom Two Wild Seeds scented candles.
The items on the menu change almost daily. They don’t use any preservatives, so they ensure the ultimate freshness of each item by making them in small batches. You won’t find a dried out, week-old muffin here! They source produce locally whenever possible, and try new recipes, flavors, and textures out with what is available seasonally.
One of their most popular menu items is their Oat ‘n Honey Pie. This throwback treat is made with honey from Heritage Prairie Farms, flax seed, coconut, and other delicious gluten-free ingredients. People rave about the butter cream frosting pressed between the two rounds, and Katie tells me that many of their creations are actually inspired by family recipes that have been passed down for years. Their salted caramel bars, peanut butter pies, and seasonal muffins are also some crowd favorites.
Not only do they have many items available in-store, but Two Wild Seeds also offers special order cakes, cupcakes, and other sweet treats for any occasion. If you have a wedding, shower, or birthday coming up, I highly suggest you drop in to talk with Katie and Susan about a custom design! It’s best to do in person, so they can guide you through various options, flavors, and adornments.
Katie says it is a true pleasure to her and her mother to be able to feed people something they love. It is a simple, genuine response when people walk away happy, and hearing little compliments and positive comments make 18-hour days so worth it.
I can’t wait for you to visit this spot and get to know Susan and Katie! Be sure to pick up a sweet treat (they weren’t joking about how great the Oat ‘n Honey Pie is!), a custom card for a friend, or a gift basket for a shower.
320 W Main Street, St. Charles, IL 60174
Sunday - Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday - Saturday: 10AM - 5PM