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Daily Journal
August 10, 2022
#68-222 KDJ

Candy and Cake in Bourbonnais offers extensive

“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

I’ve always been blessed with the gift of curiosity, sometimes good and sometimes bad. As a youngster, I learned that groundhogs are not good pets and that if the sign states do not put hands in the cage, don’t.

Curiosity got me, but in a good way. I was so drawn to the new big pink building in Bourbonnais. What business could possibly be going in there? It was mesmerizing. I knew it would be a happy place whatever business was going in. Then I noticed the sign — Candy and Cake... two of my favorite words. Life is good!

My friend Mary Thomson and I stopped one afternoon for lunch and our usual non-stop gabfest. My first impression was exactly how I felt looking at the outside. It is a happy place. Who couldn’t be happy being greeted by a display of ice cream and fresh baked goods?

I met the owners, Christeen Botros and Moheb Takla; they are pure joy. Botros said they are from Egypt. She is a graphic designer, and Takla is in IT. They owned a well-established advertising agency in Egypt and then decided to move to America in 2013.

Botros continued working as a graphic designer until she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Takla quit his job in Indianapolis to take care of the business until she finished her treatments. She was working as a graphic designer and baking and decorating cakes at this time.

“Sometimes, my husband stood by me, holding me while I was working on a cake order.” She continued, “I thank God for being with us during that difficult time.”

With Botros’ love of baking and making desserts, they decided to open up the business. She makes a very fantastic Nutella cheesecake as well as cupcakes. She worked with the local Chamber of Commerce, where they encouraged her to start at the Kankakee Farmers’ Market. She joined in October 2017 with the correct licenses, and with their signature cheesecake and cupcakes, they sold out “in no time.”

They moved to Northfield Square Mall in 2018 into the Hershey ice cream store and, in July 2020, bought their ice cream trailer for events. In September 2020, the pie line began with cream pies made from scratch. Botros told me they experimented until they had just the right recipe for their pies, all very unique. There are over 24 pie flavors, including sugar-free and gluten-free pastries.

The business again grew, and Botros and Takla bought their current location, including the car wash.

“We made it a unique building that serves unique foods.”

And, just like their fabulous pink building, they genuinely have amazing foods there!

I ordered a delicious and fresh BLT sandwich on French bread and hot and crisp fries for lunch. Mary ordered the turkey sandwich served with lettuce, tomato and cheese, served with fries.

We were lucky because it was “free scoop of ice cream day”!

Dave and I returned that evening for dinner, where he ordered the chicken barbecue wings. He said that they were excellent. The different wings are buffalo or dry seasoning or barbecue sauce. I ordered the chicken sandwich, which was also tasty.

There are several burger choices — cheeseburger, bacon cheeseburger, Swiss mushroom burger, or their colossal burger that includes a double half-pound patty with lettuce, tomato, onion and cheese.

There are several pasta dishes as well. They will be continuously changing their menu as they grow.

The mysterious drinks using dry ice are fun for the kids. How much fun would it be to drink from glass forming a cloud? Dave did order one of their chocolate shakes, while I chose the piña colada smoothie made with pineapple and coconut milk. So delicious.

You won’t have room to have dessert, but you must take something home with you for later. I wanted to try the special cookies that Botros makes — the French macaron. These cookies are so brightly colored and look like little puffs of cloud. The macaron is meringue-based with confectioner sugar, egg whites, and flavoring; bake, add the filling, and enjoy. I brought some home; they were light and melted in my mouth.

Signature desserts include cheesecakes — Oreo, Nutella, Twix caramel and Snicker caramel. The chocolate chip cookie sundae or the brownie sundae is also tempting. Try to decide which of the 24 different pies you’d like to try — not easy!

Ice cream flavors are abundant, 24 to be exact, making it a tough choice. Dave and I sampled the salted caramel, pistachio and honey-roasted peanut butter. Next time is the brown butter bourbon truffle or cotton candy.

I enjoyed the restaurant, the servers and the food. My favorite part of the day was spending time with Christeen and Moheb, a delightful couple I know will succeed in our community.

Candy and Cake is at 596 William Latham Drive, Bourbonnais, or Northfield Square Mall. They also have an ice-cream trailer that joins in community events. The phone number is 815-386-0278, or find them on Facebook.

Tinker Parker is an adjunct communication professor at Kankakee Community College and Governors State University. She can be contacted through the Daily Journal at editors@daily-journal.com or directly at bestbites@daily-journal.comTinkerP91@yahoo.com; or Best Bites Hotline 815-802-5101.

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Lee Provost
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