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Meet Upton’s Breakroom in West Town

Today we’d like to introduce you to Upton’s Breakroom.

Upton’s Breakroom is the in-house café attached to headquarters of internationally-distributed natural foods brand, Upton’s Naturals. Upton’s Naturals and Upton’s Breakroom is a completely self-funded business with one owner and no investors. The business is run by owner/founder, Daniel Staackmann, and his life partner, Nicole Sopko. Upton’s Breakroom was opened in 2013 as an opportunity to interact with customers, neighbors, and fans of the brand outside of the grocery store shelf. Upton’s Breakroom has also created an opportunity to test out recipes for new products and receive regular feedback from customers.

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?
The biggest challenge has been opening in a neighborhood that has less foot traffic and less other storefront retail businesses in the area. It didn’t take long for our neighbors to come in and check out what we’re doing. We’re also offering an exclusively vegan menu, which brings people out to eat with us as a destination, but in some cases also means that our neighbors are eating more vegan food because we are the local neighborhood spot.

Please tell us about Upton’s Breakroom.
We do offer some dishes that are hard to find in vegan versions. One of our most popular items is our Chicago Style Italian (Beef) Sandwich, which is made from a thin-sliced Italian Seitan served on a roll with giardiniera. It can even be ordered “dipped” in au jus. The staff of Upton’s Naturals all eat in Upton’s Breakroom for free while they’re working, so the staff is always coming up with new “secret menu” items and creative combinations. We also have a rotating weekly special, the “Employee Meal” which keeps the menu fresh, allows for the opportunity to keep trying new things, and helps keep the staff from getting bored with the menu.


  • Between $8-10.

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