Trini's Tasty Pastries, owned by West Garfield Park resident Trinisa Williams, is at least one West Side small business that stands to benefit once The Hatchery, a food business incubator, opens in the area.
After catering for the past 20 years, Williams launched a bakery specializing in cookies, brownies, cakes and other items. Currently, she works out of her home and sells her pastries online and at special events, but once construction on The Hatchery is finished sometime late this year, Williams said that she'll be able to take advantage of the facility's shared commercial kitchen space.
Williams' story is a ray of optimism in what has been a rather pessimistic public reaction to The Hatchery. At numerous public meetings, many West Side residents have voiced their frustration with the new development, arguing that it's being forced on them without their input.
Williams said that she understands where The Hatchery's critics are coming from, but argued that the development's co-owners have gotten better with community outreach in recent months. She also urged all West Side residents to take advantage of what the facility has to offer.
Williams said that she attended The Hatchery's workshops and events for roughly a year and a half. Three months ago, she said, she decided to become a member.
"So far, it's been an excellent experience," Williams said, adding that the biggest advantage of having a membership has been the networking opportunities.
On April 25, The Hatchery owners teamed up with Ald. Walter Burnett (27th) to host the Hatchery Update and Community Fair to give residents a chance to get information and ask questions about the development. Williams was handing out cake slices and answering questions.
During the presentation portion of the event, she argued that The Hatchery could be a great opportunity for the community.
"I always said that if I was going to start a business, I wanted to do it in the community," Williams said. "To have the opportunity to work with The Hatchery, in my own business, I couldn't ask for more than that, because I will be in my own neighborhood."
In a follow-up interview earlier this month, Williams said that she's seen representatives with The Hatchery conducting outreach at an area farmers market, signing up residents for programs and services. And, more recently, they've done some free workshops at Garfield Park Conservatory.
In the end, she said that she wants to do something good for the community.
"I think Trini's Tasty Pastries can actually fill that void in Garfield Park where people can come in and order their birthday cakes and items and they would know they can get great product and service in their own neighborhood." Williams said.
"I always wanted to have my own business in my community, to work in my community, and I'm going to take full advantage of it," she said.
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