Every year as the seasons change and fall rolls around, the Illinois Times offers Springfieldians the opportunity to voice their opinions, showcasing outstanding businesses and citizens with the title "Best of Springfield" for their contributions that make Springfield, Illinois a great place to live. This long standing tradition is a great way to get to know the locals and give a shout out to those we think the most of in our community. Incredibly Delicious is honored to have been nominated in three different categories this year: Best Farmer's Market Vendor, Best Bakery, and Best Wedding Cakes! Voting is open until October 2nd and the Results are announced October 27th. We thank you deeply for your nominations and want to take a moment to highlight the amazing people behind these nominations who we are grateful to work with every day!
Nominated Best Farmer's Market Vendor
The Old Capitol Farmer's Market was established in 1999 and is said to be Springfield's longest-running and most popular Farmer's Market located in beautiful downtown Springfield on South 4th Street and East Adams. Market hours are Wednesday and Saturday Mornings from 8:00am -Noon. The Market runs mid May through the end of October. Each season the Market kicks off with cake donated by Incredibly Delicious to commence the start of a new year. The season closes with HALLOWEEN AT THE MARKET on October 29th, a family friendly event where a costume contest is held for children up to 12 years old and pets are welcome.
Incredibly Delicious is proud to be celebrating our 14th year at the Farmer's Market. We would like to honor the man who makes it all possible, Gary Huff. If there is one thing you need to know about Gary, it's that he lives and breathes for the customers at the Farmer's Market. For the past 14 years, Gary has been the backbone of the Market for our little French Bakery. What once started as just a few baguettes and a couple loaves a bread sold out of the back of a rusty old van, has now turned into over 700 hand crafted baked goods that are loaded into our new and improved rust-free delivery van, every Wednesday and Saturday Morning. A typical Market Day for Gary starts with his 4am arrival at Incredibly Delicious where he greets the morning crew with ample enthusiasm. I doubt that anyone has ever seen a human more eggar than Gary to get up before dawn and go to work, especially for someone who is retired. From the minute he steps through the door, it is a constant hustle to get everything loaded and downtown by 7am for set up.
What makes him work so hard when he could be at home relaxing and enjoying his retirement? It's the People, he says. Every single customer is important to Gary. He simply loves being outside and interacting with the People. From 1974 to 1992 Gary sold Watermelons, Pumpkins, and Christmas Trees every year in the ever changing Illinois weather for the Andersons. I can remember as a little girl going to pick out a tree and seeing him there each year. Gary knows his customers for sure, like the Mother and Daughter pair who come every Wednesday and Saturday to buy their favorite weekly loaves of Wheat Raisin Walnut Bread. Not only the regulars but also those new to the market alike, he cares about them all. His favorite questions is, "What is in the Sport Loaf?" which has a long list of ingredients that he is always happy to name. The 75 cent Fish Cookies are also a must in Gary's book, for Children and Adults. The specialty croissant, brownies, bread, and rolls are quite Incredibly Delicious too.
One thing is for sure, The Farmer's Market is Gary's Favorite subject to talk about and we love his enthusiasm for it! Gary has helped our Farmer's Market booth grow so much over he years and we couldn't have done it without him.
Nominated Best Bakery
Our motto at Incredibly Delicious is, "Life is Short... EAT DESSERT FIRST!" Certainly no truer words have been spoken than these. In August of 1995 Patrick Groth started Incredibly Delicious based on his passion for one dreamy dessert, a stay in France, and a degree from the French Culinary Institute. After ordering 500 pounds of chocolate, Patrick quickly realized that his Mother's oven could not keep up with the growing demand for his Flourless Chocolate Cake. It was time to take his dream one step further. The historic Weber house was newly renovated and renting space out to businesses. Its unique charm and atmosphere became the perfect place to start up a little French Bakery. A pastry showcase, a modest kitchen, and one small dinning room later, Incredibly Delicious was born.
Patrick's dear friend and former colleague, Bitzy, came to town to help get the business started. He worked in the hot kitchen while she kept the customers happy in the cool dinning room. She intended to only stay for a few weeks, until the business was established, but somewhere along the way sparks flew and Romance was added to the menu. The weeks turned into months, and the months turned into years. As the menu grew, so did their love; And as the business grew in popularity, it also expanded throughout the Weber House. It now occupies the whole building with welcoming gardens and a quaint courtyard for outdoor dinning.
Although Incredibly Delicious may have expanded greatly in size over time, it still maintains the same principles that started the dream 21 years ago. We are your neighborhood bakery; open for your morning coffee and croissant, serving quiche for lunch with a friend, and making those one of a kind items for your very special occasions.
Nominated Best Wedding Cakes
When Incredibly Delicious first opened, I was a senior in high school. I started working for my brother the summer after graduation in 1996. I still remember the day he told me he found a great little spot for rent and asked if I wanted to come see it. I'll never forget that car ride or the feeling I got when we pulled up outside the future home of the Bakery. I instantly fell in love. The building was full of charm. Each wall spoke of the history it once held. I could see the potential immediately and knew this was meant to be. I had no idea then that this moment in time would become such a significant part of my future or that I would one day meet my husband while working together at Incredibly Delicious.
I haven't always made cakes, I started at the very beginning washing dishes. I was terrified of customers, didn't want to talk to anybody, and loved to hide in the kitchen. My big brother Patrick instilled confidence in me every day. He trusted me with important tasks and taught me so much. With his guidance I quickly learned how to do nearly everything in the kitchen and work the front of the house as well. When it came to Buttercream, it just felt right. I learned how to do it all and became the Cake Lady. As the business grew, so did the demand for cakes and it out grew me as a single person. Making Wedding Cakes became my career but none of it would happen every day without the fantastic people who make it possible for me to work at a job I love.
After 20 years at Incredibly Delicious, I truly believe that I work with some of the most caring, talented people in Springfield. Every cake has a story behind it. Every customer is important to us. The details collected aren't just about the decor and theme, they are so much more than that. Our cake consultants and staff are very good at listening to what people want. We have a great crew of people who can handle a full work load very well. Everybody on staff is important. From the dishwashers who provide clean utensils, to the order takers, the bakers, and the buttercream makers. A Wedding Cake doesn't happen with just one person. It takes many, it takes all.
I'd like to say a special thanks to the core team members who support me in my freedom to produce Cake Art. James, Andy, and Devlin who work tirelessly to help meet the demands of wedding cake season and last minute cake orders. Meg, Elizabeth, and Valerie who act as liaison and wedding cake consultants translating ideas into reality. I feel fortunate to work alongside these people every day. Our shared passions for food and art have given me two marvelous decades of creating cakes and a career of a lifetime. Last but not least, I thank my brother Patrick for following his dreams and believing in me. This job has been the icing on the cake.
Thank you to all our wonderful friends and customers who nominated us for the Best of Springfield! If you'd like to cast a vote for the Best of Springfield 2016, please visit the Illinois Times website before October 2nd.
Thank you to our following Employees for their outstanding work and dedication to excellence who make every day possible at Incredibly Delicious!
Farmer's Market: Gary, Tess, and Alyssa
Front of House: Stefani, Meg, McKenna, Kat, Lea, Keagan, Bridgette, Shayla, Alyssa, Abbey^2, Aaron
Front of House Manager: Elizabeth
Kitchen Crew: Andy, James, Nathan, Brittney, Tess, Devlin, Phil, Zaxxson, PJ, Cori, Aaron
Kitchen Manager: Peter
Cookies: Nancy, Susan
Grounds Crew: Rick, Pam, Tyler
Wedding Cake Consultants: Meg, Elizabeth, Valarie
Wedding Event Manager: Melanie
Co-Owners: Patrick and Penny
Cake Designer, Photographer, and Blog Author for Incredibly Delicious, Melanie has had over 20 incredible years of experience developing her delicious craft for Buttercream. She works alongside her Brother, Patrick Groth, and Mother, Penny Russel, Co-owners of Incredibly Delicious.