This little kitchen features many big treats


The pastry cases are the stras at the Blessed Little Kitchen in Huntley

By Frankie Fleming-Lile, Staff Writer

When you walk through the doors of Blessed Little Kitchen, in Huntley, you are greeted with the warm scent of freshly baked cookies, cakes and delicious cinnamon rolls.

It is a very cozy place. The walls are blue, pink and gray with signs
reminding us all that we are blessed. The staff welcomes you into their wonderful establishment, eager to help customers find something they like. They have newly added tables so people can sit and enjoy their treats in a comforting environment.

The stars of the show are the cases containing all the goodies. The cases are filled with all the treats you could imagine. Expect to find cinnamon rolls, cookies, cakes, cheesecakes, eclairs and so much more. Don’t forget to check out their new “Mini Cinnis,” their classic cinnamon rolls in a new style. They come in an individual serving with a spoon included for on the go.

The woman behind all the magic is Mary Holzkopf. She is originally from Arlington Heights and now lives in Huntley. She has always loved baking, since she was a little kid. She lived with her grandma from when she was 10 until she was 18 and went to college. Her grandma did chef work, but she fell in love with the baking side of things.

Holzkopf opened Blessed Little Kitchen’s retail location on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. The week of opening was chaotic but rewarding.

“It was very hectic,” Holzkopf said. “We opened that Tuesday and I hired most of my staff that Friday (Oct. 18) so we were all very brand new to each other.”

All of that chaos seems to have paid off. On top of running a business, Holzkopf has five children, and a husband. She is a village trustee, an active member of our community and an active member in her church.

This month she reached out to her Facebook community
asking to donate time or supplies to fill 592 Easter baskets. The baskets are for community members who utilize the Grafton Food Pantry. In the Facebook post she said: “I KNOW WE CAN DO IT! We have come through every single year for them, and I don’t plan on stopping now.”

Before this she donated 205 dozen eggs to the seniors at Gable Point, The Villagers, and Walden Oaks. She was able to do this just by placing an
“egg donation” jar outside the bakery.

Holzkopf has a lot on her plate. “Personally my biggest
challenge is just time management,” she said. “The challenge is making sure that I fill up everyone else’s cups but also making sure mine isn’t empty.

“My husband is amazing and he really, really helps me balance a lot. If it wasn’t for him I don’t think I could do as much as I do. He is like my backbone for everything, because of him I’m able to do everything.”

BLK is different from other bakeries in that every recipe is created by Holzkopf. She also collaborates with her staff on new recipes.

A BLK Facebook post said, “we only use the best ingredients in our products.” Extreme skill and creativity go into the presentation of BLK’s desserts. They are constantly coming out with new cookie designs and encourage others to be creative too.

They host cookie decorating classes as a fun activity for all ages. Every holiday is greatly celebrated at BLK. They can bring spirit to any occasion. They are the perfect place for a special event cake.

They make completely unique birthday/wedding/event cakes. They do not have a “cake book.” Instead, everything is individual, personalized, and delicious. Holzkopf’s favorite part of owning a small business is the relationship with her staff and customers.

Holzkopf said her customers, “come to me when they get engaged,
and I get to do their engagement party, and then their wedding, and then their baby showers. Then I get to watch their kids grow up and do their kids’ birthday parties so, it’s really cool to be able to grow with my customers.”

Blessed Little Kitchen is more than just great desserts. They strengthen our community and bring people together. They just went through their first renovation and now they are starting a second renovation. They are planning to take over the space behind them for a second kitchen and a party room. The party room will allow them to do birthday parties and more decorating classes. The expansion opens the doors to do all the
things they did before the pandemic. The newest addition to BLK is the tables and chairs for people to sit and enjoy their treats.
“The whole point of the renovations was so I could bring the community
back together and I just love walking up there and seeing people enjoying what I’ve made,” Holzkopf said. “It is just that whole sense of community which I really felt like covid had taken from us and this was my way of getting that back.”

The staff at BLK is very tight knit. As Holzkopf said, the favorite part of her business is her relationship with staff and customers. She overcomes challenges by focusing on what works and finding a groove with her staff. They are family both at work and outside of it.

“The people I work with have become more than my best friends, they are my family,” Holzkopf said. “We vacation together, we attend each other’s family events like birthday parties and graduations.They are my chosen family.”

Holzkopf has accomplished so much already, but she does have one main goal for the future. Her ultimate business goal is to open her own stand-alone location one day.

“I don’t know if it will be possible in this lifetime,” she said.

But, she has proven just what is possible with support from a community and hopefully they will help her accomplish that goal.

Visit the bakery’s sites: