Located in downtown Staunton, Illinois, Blackbird Bakery and Cafe specializes in artisan breads, pastries, sweets, and light breakfast and lunch fare.
Photos by Emily paul
Blackbird Bakery and Cafe began in 2016 as a small fundraising stand at the When I’m 64 Beatles Festival in Prairietown, Illinois. Excited by the positive feedback and fun atmosphere of the festival, owners Harry and Emily Paul, who at the time worked as an Executive Chef and a college English professor respectively, recognized that this festival was only the beginning for Blackbird Bakery. Shortly thereafter, they took a small leap and opened a stand at the Staunton Farmer’s Market, selling artisan breads, pastries, and other goodies, where business and word continued to grow. As the first market season closed, Emily decided to try her hand at the trending art of cookie decorating, which quickly took Blackbird to new heights and gave the Pauls the confidence to officially open their brick-and-mortar bakery and cafe in downtown Staunton.
Emily is a Staunton native. After graduating from WIU in 2009, she moved to Iowa City, Iowa where she began her teaching career at Kirkwood Community College and met her future husband, Harry, a native of Cincinnati, who had been attending the University of Iowa. The two met while working at the Bluebird Diner, Emily as a baker and Harry as a prep and line cook. By 2011, Emily received word that she’d been hired to teach at the University of Alaska Anchorage, so in a car loaded with camping gear and a few essentials, the pair took off for the Last Frontier. While Emily taught college English, Harry quickly moved up the ranks at the Glacier Brewhouse, eventually becoming Executive Chef at its sister restaurant Orso. Ultimately, they decided to get married and have two children, Henry and Atticus. And as often happens, the expansion of their family left them homesick for the Midwest, so they again piled their possessions into two cars this time, and headed down the ALCAN to begin their next great adventure, Blackbird.
123 Main Street
Staunton, Illinois 62088
T-Sa 6 am-6 pm
Su 6 am-2 pm
Blackbird Bakery and Cafe’s mission is to not only provide great tasting food, but also to support the community and citizens that support us. Learn more about the events and organizations we’re currently working with by clicking the links below.
When I’m 64 Beatles Festival | Prairietown, Illinois
Blackbird Bakery and Cafe started as a small bakery stand at the When I’m 64 Beatles Festival in Prairietown, Illinois, which at its heart is a fundraiser for Unity Lutheran School in East St. Louis, Illinois. Blackbird donates a dozen cakes for the intermission cake walks while also selling cookies and other goodies for purchase. Mark your calendars for the second Saturday of September to hear all Beatles, all day—and for a great cause!
Throughout the month of August, Blackbird Bakery and Cafe sells Smart Cookies to give a little extra to teachers and staff who are gearing up for the upcoming school year. Fifty-percent of all sales of Smart Cookies is donated to the schools of the Staunton Unit School District, so be sure to stop by and get yours!
Cookie decorating at the Macoupin art collective | Staunton, Illinois
Once a month, Blackbird Bakery and Cafe hosts cookie decorating classes at the Macoupin Art Collective in downtown Staunton. Students learn how to make royal icing as well as several techniques for making beautiful—and delicious—cookie art. Click the link below to get signed up for the next class!