Chief Cookie Officer
Joe Dela Pena
Head Baker and Co-Founder Joe Dela Pena leads a very talented baking team that puts out some of the most whimsically orginal cookies and baked goods in Chicago, as well as inspired takes on time tested favorites, such as the ever popular, Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter Chocolate Chip with Pretzel Salt.
One of our more unique cookie flavors at Warm Belly Bakery, the vibrant purple Ube Cookie (Ube /oo-bay/ is a purple root plant, similar to taro) was a recipe specially designed for the 2016 James Beard Awards. It was so popular when we featured it in the cafe that we added it to the regular rotation, offering it usually once a week.
Joe has been featured in various publications and productions both locally and nationally, including specials on the Food Network, an article in USA Today, and even as a contestant on ABC's hit show Who Wants to be a Millionaire. We were recently visited by Zagat, and we'd like to thank them again for their kind words as well as the wonderful Janet Davies for featuring us on ABC 7 Chicago's 190 North!
Here's Joe on WICU's You & Me This Morning talking about the founding of Warm Belly Bakery with partner Francis Wisniewski in 2016, as well as his background and inspiration for the recipes he comes up with. It's a great look into who we are and what we are trying to do. Warm Belly Bakery is out to put a mark on Chicago's baking scene, and so far the results have been delicious.
Stop by the cafe to see what latest new invention Joe has come up with. You might even see him pop in and out of the cafe through out the day, so be sure to say "hi" and get to know the man behind the cookies. He embodies all the things Warm Belly stands for and he loves to talk about food stuff with anybody and everybody interested!