Owner Tyler Czuczman, 22, has been baking from home most of his life. When he went vegan four years ago, he had trouble finding treats to satisfy his sweet tooth so he started making his own. Soon he hopes to open a storefront here in Pittsburgh.
Friends and family gobbled up his products and encouraged him to go into the baking business. The veterinary assistant had studied graphic design in school, so the name of his planned vegan bakery — Good Chroma — reflects both of his passions: doing right by animals through veganism and designing colorful desserts.
Czuczman sold his confections at local events such as the Neighborhood Flea, Squirrel Hill Night Market and Pittsburgh VegFest, where he sold out of 700 cupcakes and cookies in just two hours. Life was sweet!
But when the Allegheny County Health Department informed Czuczman that he was operating his kitchen without the proper permits, he was forced to halt operations.
He’s now searching for a storefront, preferably in Bloomfield or East Liberty, where he can open a bakery specializing in gluten-free items, including custom and wholesale orders. He plans to donate five percent of all profits to local animal welfare organizations.
“I definitely think Pittsburgh has a demand for vegan products,” Czuczman says. “I’ve seen how customers in the community reacted to my products. I think we’ll do really well.”
A Kickstarter campaign is underway and Czuczman is working with the Urban Redevelopment Authority and Honeycomb Credit to reach his goal.
Launched in East Liberty last year, Honeycomb Credit helps small businesses, many of whom are food purveyors, raise the capital needed to open brick-and-mortar stores.
“There’s a strong movement to shop local, buy local, eat local,” says Honeycomb Founder and CEO George Cook. “This is a way people can invest local. It’s a creative opportunity to earn a competitive return on their money while strengthening the community.”