Difference Maker: Laura Pekarik, Cupcakes For Courage

Bernie Tafoya
January 13, 2020 - 6:14 pm
Cupcakes For Courage Founder Laura Pekarik

Cupcakes For Courage Founder Laura Pekarik /WBBM Newsradio


(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Laura Pekarik is 34 years old and is the owner of Courageous Bakery and Café, home of Cupcakes for Courage in Elmhurst and Oak Park. 

Pekarik most certainly didn’t set out to go into the baking business, but life throws you curves.

“It all started when my sister was diagnosed with cancer May 2010. I took a year off my job at the time to be with her and take care of her,” Pekarik says.

One of the things Laura and her sister, Kathryn, loved to do was bake, so they made cupcakes as a diversion.

“It really helped lift our spirits and kind of take it day-by-day,” she said.

Eventually, Kathryn’s cancer went into remission and Laura Pekarik decided to start a food truck selling her cupcakes.

Cupcakes For Courage

She also promised to give 10% of her proceeds to cancer-research. She first was going to name the food truck and her business Cupcakes for Hope, but thought: “You can’t just hope to fight cancer and to get through this grueling process. You have to have courage, so it became Cupcakes for Courage.”

Pekarik says she gives money to various charities, including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Ride Janie Ride, a charity that provides grants to help relieve the financial stress on cancer patients beyond what is covered by insurance.

Besides donating money towards cancer research, Pekarik says she donates cupcakes for various charitable events.

For more information, go to the Courageous Bakery website.