Bleeding Heart Bakery Sucks

An inside look at Chicago's Bleeding Heart Bakery. "Punk rock pastry" that exploits its workers and treats its customers like crap.

Submission: Dear Michelle

Michelle, if you are reading this, I sure hope that you get your life together. After reading blogs about you and how you treat customers and your employees you really need to get yourself together, learn real business skills and stop funking up your live by opening and closing stores. You have talent as well as many other people but I see you going backward with your bitterness towards people that took their talents and made successes of themselves. Why can’t you do that too, make a success of yourself? Would your rather live your life failing and blaming others? I pray that you do get yourself organized, focused and ready for a new life where what you say and do are the same. Stop making promises you can’t keep! Your reputation is the only thing you own right now and if you don’t fix it you will quickly be forgotten about. Peace and hope that you will take what I say to heart.

Submission: Glass in my food

Years ago when BHB had a super short lived eating establishment on Chicago Ave I stopped by for lunch. I was the only customer in the joint and happily eating my lasagna and reading a book when I noticed something crunchy in my food. I inspected my meal and found shards of broken glass throughout it. Like, a lot of it. How does that even happen?

More delusion

I just saw this and laughed because she can’t let it go.  With this website being one of the first results on Google, I doubt having BHB connected to the new West Town Bakery and Diner is “driving their business”.  I’m sure they’re working hard to remove every inch of Vinny and Michelle from their business, but sometimes web development is hard, and doesn’t change immediately.

Submission: Political Incorrectness

     Several years ago, I briefly worked at the Belmont location. In the few months’ time that I worked there, almost every single person - front of house, back of house and interns were either fired or quit of their own volition thanks to Michelle’s domineering and obvious ethical and mental problems.

   After working there a few months without any problems and without having ever called in to work or shown up late, I woke up late in the night seriously ill. I called BHB at 5 am and spoke to the then kitchen manager (who was also fired - twice, mind you). I told him that I was vomiting and had a fever, etc. and that I didn’t think I should be there when scheduled 5 hours later at 10 am. He said no problem, he understood and would call Michelle. A few hours later he returns my call and tells me that Michelle said I had to come in or I would be fired. I couldn’t afford to lose my job at the time, so I went to work. Throughout the day I was ill, green in the face, and had to leave the counter mid transaction to puke in the bathroom right where people could hear - not to mention I handled everyone’s food. In fact, in doing inventory at the end of the night, I handled every scone, muffin and cupcake in the place - most likely infecting everything. The kitchen manager was calling Michelle with no response. She showed back up when I was closing, explained that she was sorry and that she thought I was hungover. She didn’t offer to help or to remedy the situation in any fashion. I told her that I didn’t even drink and it was disgusting to me that she would force me to work under those conditions and pass judgement on me like that when I had never once done anything but be a great employee.

     Come to find out, the real reason I was forced to come to work was because of her feverish support of then-presidential candidate, Obama. You see, if I wasn’t there to hold down the fort, sick or not, either she or her front of house manager would have had to skip their beloved Obama rally in Indiana and come in to run the business - you know, like you’re supposed to do, as a business-owner. Way to hold up your standards and social morals, Michelle! Such a supporter of Democracy and socially just ideals- really more like a tyrannical Fascist.

     Needless to say, I quit. The shitty pay, long hours, ridiculous demands - not worth it. Also, when you are supposed to be an ‘organic’ bakery - you shouldn’t bring non-organic half and half in and tell your employees to hide it from customers because of your incompetence in keeping tabs on ordering and stocking. Also, when there is mold on something, you should throw it away instead of scraping it off the top. Also, cookies that were made for Halloween and are still there 3 months later, should be thrown away, too.

     On a final note - ‘punk rock’ is not your lifestyle - it’s a dead scene, anyway, now - made for bored, Suburban teenagers who like neon and terrible 3-chord pop songs played through Crate amps- it’s a kitschy, campy, novelty act with which you are clowning yourself and all of the rich, upper-class crackers with their J Crew wardrobes, $1000 strollers and pure-bred dogs who can afford to buy your shitty $4 cupcakes. What punker do you know or have ever known who can spend $4 on a fucking cupcake? That’s right, none. Your tattoos and manic panic hair are just as played out as your attitude and your selfish treatment of others. There is nothing ‘punk rock’ about you or your business or your ethics unless, of course, you adhere to the ‘fuck you’ punk rock aesthetic - in that case, you are a shining example of that, Michelle and Vinny. I fear for your children and I hope you end up working for as big of cunts as you yourselves are - in an establishment more geared towards the way you live your lives and treat others - at McDonald’s, perhaps?

Submission: Bleeding Heart Bakery: Ex Employee

I always thought that this was a great place to get my first job. Untill they cut my hours and then didnt give me any. Neither Michelle nor Vinny had contacted me for over 3 months with any information as to why I was not getting  hours. An assistant manager had told me that they could only have her and another employee work at that location because of the new store that was “opening next week”. This was around easter and I hadn’t heard anything untill after the new location opened in June. Then my father receives a call informing him that I will need to come in at 12 the next day for an all employee meeting. Nobody ever contacted myself, even though several of the other employees as well as Michelle and Vinny had my phone number and e-mail address. I decided not to show up to the meeting and letter sent them an e-mail letting them know that I quit. I got an auto response and never heard back from them.

Anonymous asked: In reply to this question ::19th Jul 2012 Anonymous asked: just out of curiosity, does anyone know the time frame in which this terror of an office manager worked at BHB?Anyone? I was hired in January of 2009 and she was hired in about February or March of 2009. She started as a regular employee then somehow moved her way up. Thankfully I just celebrated my 2 year anniversary of being BHB free. :D

Thanks!

Submission: I thought I was the only one!

Finding this blog has made me feel so vindicated.  For years I’ve resented this place because of the unprofessional and just plain rude way I was treated as an employee.  I worked their briefly at the original location on Chicago ave in 2008.  

They could not get their shit together enough to even make out a weekly schedule…I was told at the end of every shift to ‘call back the next day’ and see when i worked next.  I went along with this for a few weeks until one day when i called in, I was told by a manager who was clearly uncomfortable lying to me, that they ‘didn’t know yet’ when i was scheduled next.  I knew in her voice for the next four or five days when i called that she was covering for Michelle.  Well, needless to say, I finally got the hint that i was let go…for what reason, I’ll never know.  I was never told I was doing anything wrong or repremanded or anything…in fact, the girls managing the front at the time kept telling me how great I was working out.  I even helped Vinny out with some ideas that they liked and kept for price signs. 

I could go on and on…but I mainly wanted to say how glad I am to have found I was not an isolated incident.

Anonymous asked: I went in to get a box of assorted goods on a Thursday, and they told me they were out of the items they needed to make it. They said they'd call me when they got the items in. I didn't hear back from them for a while, and then they finally called me the next Friday and told me they'd had it ready since Monday. I told them that they were supposed to call and let me know, and they just asked if I still wanted it. I pre-paid, so reluctantly, I picked it up had to eat 5 day old greasy pastries.

Nice to know they plan on staying awful right up until the very last minute.

Anonymous asked: To employees who have not been paid: file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Labor for unpaid wages; the process takes a few months but if you are able to prove you are owed a certain amount, most likely you will receive it, as well as compensation for the time you waited for this check (usually about 8% of the check amount for EACH day you waited for your check). I was denied a check from an ex-employer (Lush wine and spirits- AVOID), but doing this paid off. Good Luck!

Good advice!

Submission: The definition of deposit is obvously missing from Michelle’s dictionary.

After I quit the bakery(literally the night before they opened the lakeview location) I knew I never wanted to step foot in that crazy house again. And after hearing all the shit talk Michelle had to say about me I knew if I went in there it would be a problem. So I had my fiance pick up my last checks so i didnt have to. Well we had these awful uniforms, they looked like diner dresses and cost us all a $100 deposit they said we would get back when we returned them. I waited 3-4 weeks after quitting to return them simply because i was dreading it. And after hearing my old coworkers couldnt get their back pay I knew i would have to deal with crap when i finally did return them. Well the day came when i knew i had to suck it up and go over there for my deposit. I walked in and the girl i had been trying to fire since last year was working ( she was unreliable, a liar,cheated on her timecard,and kissed michelles ass to get away with it) I gave her my 2 dresses and apron, asked for my money and got the heck out of there.

    About an hour later i’m sitting at the bookstore decompressing and get a voicemail from BHB. The worker says “I just spoke to michelle and you werent supposed to get that money, you just stole from us and im calling the cops if you arent here before we close.” WTF?! I call back and ask what the hell is going on, thats my money, i returned the uniforms i got the deposit back. She insists michelle said she gave it to me weeks ago (never happened, and 4 weeks earlier i was still working there so? hmm) and that i just lied and stole from the company and shes calling the cops if i dont return the money. I felt like I was in a soap opera or something, this crap just doesnt happen in real life. I never did anything wrong to this woman, i stuck with her even when i was working for free, getting paid shit and staying 16-18 hours a day, listening to her bitch and moan and share super personal marital info all the time.

  I started getting texts from the worker basically counting down the time until she called the cops, I text Vinny and told him what was going on thinking stupidly he would stop this crazy shit cause hes the normal one right? wrong. he told me i had to return the money asap and that texting him about it was disrespectful and rude because i should have text michelle instead. right, you control all the money business and are an owner but i shouldnt talk to you? alrighty. I checked my email and michelle had already wrote a page long email to me about how i stole from them, shes calling the cops and how in one of my checks i got paid $12 an hr and that added up to $100. I got paid that much because I was a manager and thats managers pay for every manager in any location we had.

   I couldn’t deal with the harassment so i went to the police station and told them what was going on. They said she never called them and to tell her to cease and desist contact with me. well i did that and she stupidly emailed me saying there was now a warrant out for my arrest because i stole her money. lol seriously? well talked to the police again and yeah there was no warrant and she never contacted them. you would think it would stop there right?

    After she was done harassing me she apparently went after the only friend i had left there, accusing her of being a narc and telling me inside info. This person after i quit never told me anything that was going on over there and besides that the last thing we ever want to talk about in our free time is BHB. It sucks that Michelle can scare her workers though so much to the point that now this person barely talks to me and it just isnt the same.  Its hard to let go of all the pent up anger and bitterness i have for this place. It has completely changed how i view new jobs, anything out of place and i get leary about it thinking they will fuck me over just like BHB did. There should be a support group for all of us since this completely fucks our heads up.