City officials at the grand opening of Hewn bakery. Photo by Mary Mumbrue

Hewn is not an average run-of-the-mill bakery.

Located at 810 Dempster St. the new establishment distances itself from its competitors by adopting a completely different mindset.

“Everything we do at Hewn is produced in house from scratch every day,” said Julie Matthei, co-owner. “The name Hewn means to form or shape things by hand which is exactly what we are doing here every day with our food.”

The old school naturalistic approach to baking does not stop there. “We are using all organic grains. We really are using one of the best organic flowers and grains in the country so that definitely sets us apart,” said Ellen King, co-owner.

The bakery itself is made with repurposed materials that match the rustic artisan feel of the food made in it. All of the cabinets are made from old pickle barrels, the metal on the walls are old barn roofs and all of the countertops, shelves and the bench out front are made from fallen trees from Chicago. Scott Simpson, of Scott Simpson Builders, Inc., built the bakery.

The owner duo make a great team, Ms. Matthei handles the business aspect while Ms. King, a classically trained chef, oversees all baking and cooking of the food.  The pair aspire for Hewn to be much more than simply an artisan bakery.

“I just felt there needed to be a little neighborhood bakery that you could walk to and really be a part of the community. I live in Evanston and I moved here from Seattle and in Seattle we had little neighborhood bakeries and I really missed having that community center where you can go get coffee, a pastry or bread,” Ms. King said.

A big part of creating community is being all-inclusive which, with the addition of the handicapped doorbell, is something Hewn strives for. The doorbell, a brainchild of Patrick Hughes’ company Inclusion Solutions, makes the bakery wheelchair and stroller accessible.

The bakery offers a large spread of food; pastries in the morning, salads and sandwiches around lunchtime and also bread and coffee. “We are all vegetable and grain-based. We are not going to have meats.  It is all focused on just highlighting seasonal vegetables for the sandwiches and salads,” Ms. King said.

Out of everything on the menu so far, the Kouign Amann seems to have stolen the show. As the mayor was cutting the ribbon, she implored everyone to try one.

“I think every bakery in Evanston and the surrounding communities is unique in their own way and we are going to be unique in our own way. We all offer different things to different people and so far the response has been very great and we are very thankful for it,” Ms. Matthei said.