Chicago is known for its decadent deep dish pizza and iconic hot dogs but these fan favorites aren't the healthiest choices when it comes to dining out. Over the last couple of years, there has been a strong movement toward healthier options for people to choose from, which often means sacrificing taste. But Sydney Verwilst, the founder and mastermind behind Ingrained Chicago, wants to change the way people interact and think about food.

Meet Sydney

Sydney Verwilst’s started off in the corporate world but wanted to do something more with her time. She began making homemade granola on the side and later decided to sell it to local shops with support from her friends. Soon Ingrained granola began flying of the shelfs, and people couldn't get enough. Sydney wanted to expand Ingrained products beyond granola, and decided to open her own little shop to encourage healthy and mindful eating.

The Story Behind The Name and the Logo

Photo Courtesy of Ingrained Chicago

Ingrained as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary means "forming a part of the essence or inmost being," which is the main goal of Ingrained Chicago. Sydney's aim isn't just to make food taste good; the food is also made to make you feel good. She wants to encourage satiating mentally and physically without constantly worrying about what one is eating 24/7.

Her goals are even reflected in the logo for Ingrained. The simple pattern is comprised of three colors – forest green, light green, and pink – each of which has it's own meaning. The forest green stands for plants in the ground, light green represents harvested plants on a plate, and the pink means a healthy human body.

The Food

All of the products from Ingrained Chicago are vegan, gluten free, and free of corn and soy. Sydney wanted to make food for everyone to enjoy, and feel good after eating it. Not only are the treats vegan, they are also healthy, well-balanced, and made with the best possible ingredients available. 

There are so many options to choice from, and the selection changes daily. Their menu includes raw  bars that are similar to frozen vegan dessert bars, protein truffles, dessert cups, cookies, tonics, cake, and, of course, their ever popular granola. Some of their most popular items include their Cookies & Cream Raw Bar, Pistachio Cherry Raw Bar, Rainbow PB Raw Bar, and Chocolate Truffles. But no matter what to get, you won't be disappointed. 

Don't Forget About the Bread

Just like all of their raw bars, baked goods, and truffles, the bread at Ingrained Chicago is gluten free, dairy-free, soy-free, and even kosher friendly. These freshly baked loaves are created by non-other than New York born and raised Jewish baker Erica Barbag, a member of the Ingrained team. The bread on rotation changes everyday but some of their most popular items include Challah, Focaccia, and Sourdough.

#SpoonTip: Don't forget to email for custom orders.

Make sure to stop by Ingrained when you get the chance and see for yourself why this colorful shop is becoming a major hit in Chicago. Follow them @ingrainedchicago on Instagram for an update on their daily treats. Ingrained is located at 108 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60654 and is open from 8am to 7pm on Tuesdays through Fridays, and from 9am to 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays, unless they run out of all their goodies.