Chicago native Sarah Levy Imberman developed a passion for all things sweet at an early age. In 2004, her passion became her profession when she launched Sarah’s Pastries & Candies, making fine chocolates out of her mother’s kitchen.
Sarah opened her first retail store on Oak Street near Chicago’s Magnificent Mile in 2005 and soon expanded her offerings to include morning pastries, specialty and wedding cakes, cookies, chocolate gift baskets and other delectable pastries. She later moved her shop to a larger location nearby and opened a second store inside Macy’s on State Street in 2007.
Sarah expanded her business beyond pastry and entered the airport food concession space in 2011, when she rebranded her company S. Levy Foods. Sarah’s passion for food thrives as she helps to bring “real food” (which reflect the local market) to airports. Sarah has since grown to operating restaurants in four airports – John F. Kennedy (JFK), Sacramento, Phoenix Sky Harbor and San Diego – and is a proud joint-venture partner of SSP America. Sarah is thrilled to bring back her Sarah’s Candies brand through her partnership with Hudson Group at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Terminal 2.
Sarah showcases many of her bakery’s popular recipes in her cookbook Sweetness: Delicious Baked Treats for Every Occasion (Surrey Books), which was released in 2009 and whose second edition will be released in the summer of 2016. In 2011, she competed on Food Network Challenge and won the show’s $10,000 prize for her 3-feet tall dinosaur-shaped cake, complete with a moving head and tail and a habitat of dry ice for extra effect.
Sarah’s Pastries & Candies was named one of the nation’s Top Ten Candy Stores by USA Today and was the only Chicago bakery to be featured in BRIDES magazine’s Most Beautiful Wedding Cakes issue. Sarah’s has also been featured on numerous television shows including ABC7’s Windy City Live and 190 North, WGN’s Lunch Break, NBC5’s News Today and CBS2’s Eye On Chicago, as well as in print publications such as Better Homes and Gardens, Elegant Bride, Complete Woman Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine and Time Out Chicago, among others.
Sarah was honored with the YWCA Promise Award in 2007 and in 2010 she was nominated for a Jean Banchet Award for Celebrity Pastry Chef. She has trained at several of the country’s top restaurants and bakeries, including Spago Beverly Hills, where she apprenticed under the James Beard award-winning pastry chef Sherry Yard, and Bittersweet Bakery in Chicago. Sarah is a graduate of Northwestern University, French Pastry School of Chicago and Francis W. Parker School.