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May 18, 2012
Sisters Laura and Kathryn Pekarik have always shared a passion for baking. So when Kathryn was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins T-cell Lymphoma two years ago, Laura baked 250 cupcakes as part of a bake sale to help defray Kathryn's medical costs. The recipes were Kathryn's, the cupcakes were a huge success, and an idea was born. Cupcakes for Courage is a Chicago-based food truck that sells really wonderful cupcakes and donates part of its proceeds to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the American Cancer Society, and the Ride Janie Ride Foundation.
Cupcake flavors range from "everyday"--Dark Chocolate-Chocolate--to inventive and even outrageous. Depending on the day you track down the truck, you might find Caramel Apple Pie, Spicy Sriracha Turtle, Lime in the Coconut, and even the 'Elvis' (banana cake topped with peanut butter buttercream and roasted bacon).
The bright green Cupcakes for Courage truck (formerly a yellow DHL delivery van) reflects the sisters' green approach to their business. They use green packaging, from unbleached parchment paper baking cups and reusable pastry bags to biodegradable plastic clam shells for transporting your cupcakes home safely (assuming they make it that far--they're that good). And they bake with all natural ingredients like unbleached flour and vegetable-based food coloring.
The truck has become Laura's full time passion. Kathryn helps with the baking when she can. She still has more than a year of drug treatment ahead of her, but is well enough now that she's working at a full-time job again. For the sisters--and for Chicagoans who want to use their sweet tooth for good--the Character Approved Cupcakes for Courage seems to be getting everything right. Follow them on Twitter.