Laura Pekarik owns and operates the Cupcakes for Courage food truck. When Laura’s sister, Kathryn, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Laura and her mother quit their jobs to take care of her. During that time Kathryn and Laura created many new cupcakes recipes while Kathryn went through her cancer treatment.
After Kathryn recovered, Laura thought about returning to her job, but instead chose to go into business for herself. Like many new entrepreneurs, Laura didn’t have the money for a storefront location, so she opened Cupcakes for Courage in June 2011. Laura donates 10% of Cupcakes for Courage’s proceeds to cancer charities. As a result of her success, Laura opened a brick-and-mortar location in September 2012. Named Courageous Bakery, the store also serves as the new home for the food truck, which continues to operate throughout all of Chicago.