Quigley Goes “Undercover” With Bittersweet Pastry Shop
CHICAGO – Yesterday, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) worked alongside Bittersweet Pastry Shop employees to help them prepare holiday orders by working in the cookie decorating room, mixing cake batter, finishing cupcakes and serving customers as part of his Undercover Congressman series. The series connects Rep. Quigley with constituents at their place of employment to better understand the daily challenges they face in their industry and community.
“Chicago has a reputation for being unfriendly to small businesses,” said Rep. Quigley. “A goal of my undercover congressman visits is to better understand what I can do in Washington to change this perception and to help small businesses grow. It is things like sugar and chocolate import prices and availability of public transportation for the employees that you don’t think about, but has a real impact on the success of a small business. I appreciate Judy and all of the employees at Bittersweet for welcoming me in during their busiest time of year to learn about how their business operates.”
Bittersweet Pastry Shop has been in business in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago for over 20 years. Rep. Quigley started his shift by helping decorate gingerbread man cookies, one of Bittersweet’s most popular holiday treats. He then moved into the kitchen, where he helped employees decorate tarts and holiday cakes. Rep. Quigley learned about the dough making process by rolling and cutting cinnamon rolls and preparing ham and cheese croissants. He wrapped up his shift by venturing to the front of the shop to greet customers and help them pay for their orders.
Rep. Quigley learns about all the details that go into running a successful small business by Judy Contino, owner of Bittersweet Pastry Shop.
Rep. Quigley decorates gingerbread man cookies alongside Bittersweet Pastry Shop employees.
“Congressman Quigley has been stopping by Bittersweet for years now, always choosing our hot chocolate as his drink of choice,” said Judy Contino, owner of Bittersweet Pastry. “It was a pleasure having him on the other side of the counter this time, getting a behind-the-scenes look at how we prepare for the all of the holiday orders, and overall, how we operate a successful, small business in a competitive environment.”
Since taking office in 2009, Rep. Quigley has performed a wide range of jobs as an Undercover Congressman, including cleaning animal pens as a zookeeper at the Lincoln Park Zoo, packaging beer and cleaning tanks at Half Acre Brewery, pouring metal at a local metal refinery and delivering mail with the United States Post Office.