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Meet Oscar Narvaez of The Chunky Scones in Waukegan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Oscar Narvaez.

Oscar, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
The Chunky Scone started as a passion for food and baking. My first appearance was at a holiday market at St. Paul Church in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, in 2015, where the only thing I had for sale was scones and all of them sold out! Since then, I have been doing festivals & pop-up events throughout Chicagoland, Indiana, and Wisconsin. What has gotten me to where I am today is my passion for food which I am fortunate enough to be able to share with others. The Chunky Scone’s products can be found at Be Market in Lake Bluff and Melted Co. in Buffalo Grove, IL. People can also contact us and order through social media, email or The Chunky Scone website. 

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It definitely has not been an easy road. Having a small business requires sacrifice, self discipline, and hard work, so one must be really passionate about it in order to stay in business. Some of the struggles I have faced include a resistance from the general public in regard to vegan food because they think it is part of the hipster movement or just expensive food for wealthy people which is not the case. I dare say that many vegans follow a vegan philosophy and diet based on the ethical treatment of animals and not so much because they want to be cool or be trendy. As a vegan company, I think the challenge is always to break that barrier of misconception of what vegan food really is among the general public. In my opinion, in order for any vegan company to be succesful and stay afloat, it needs to create food that is appealing to vegans and non-vegans alike.

The Chunky Scones – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My company focuses on delightfully vegan food and baked goods. We make cakes, churros, pizza rolls, scones, biscuits, croissants, conchas, donuts, naturally leavened bread, cookies, and many other vegan foods that I love to experiment with and create. One of the things The Chunky Scone is most known for and do best is the vegan tres leches cake, vegan churros, and vegan scones. What sets The Chunky Scone apart from the competition is the variety of foods I can make as well as the focus on high-quality ingredients as opposed to quantity. I also avoid artificial ingredients like colors and dyes as well as flavorants. All of my products are always made fresh to order and a few months back I switched all of my bread products from gmo commercial yeasts to completely naturally leavened (sourdough) breads and pastries. In the near future I also plan to only use locally farmed grains from the Midwest.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
One of the things I look back most fondly of is the fact that I started this venture of mine selling only scones in the basement of a church. Now I have a recipe notebook that I need to look at sometimes because we now make a lot of products that vary from market to market and it is hard to keep it all in your head although I do try, ha. Also, the fact that I am able to teach people some of the things I have learned about vegan baking along the road through workshops and recipes. Just like anything in life there is ups and downs in the business but it has always been fun. It brings me joy to make food, what else can I say but thank you for reaching out to me and and giving me the chance to share a bit of myself and my business.

Pricing:

  • Tres Leches Cake $45
  • Scones $3 each or $24/dozen
  • Sourdough Bread $8/loaf
  • Donuts $3 each or $24/dozen
  • Conchas $4 each or $24/dozen
  • Biscuits $3 each or $24/dozen

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Plant Chicago, The Chunky Scones

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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