Ed and Allison Madell
Flourish Bakery and Café

Flourish Bakery Café first opened its ovens in 2006 at the historic Woolworths building on Bryn Mawr Avenue in the Chicago neighborhood of Edgewater. Known for its delicious cakes, cupcakes, breads and pastries, Flourish bakers take high quality ingredients and bake them until simply perfect. All bakery goods are homemade fresh daily in the Flourish ovens.

Longstanding Edgewater residents, Ed and Allison Madell bought Flourish in 2010, hoping to modernize the European bakery experience and bring it to the Edgewater community. Ed wanted to bring to life his childhood bakery memories of growing up in Germany and Allison hoped to relive her food-filled happy years in Paris as a student.

Ed and Allison Madell 

First up, Ed and Allison wanted to focus the menu, offering fewer items – but all best-in-class and based on great baked items. This allowed them to concentrate on their end goal — top-notch ingredients that would deliver a consistently perfect bite every time.

Great food starts with great bread.

The crunch of the perfect baguette … the butter flake of the croissant … the delicious swirl of frosting on top of a moist cupcake…. At Flourish Bakery Café, we take your favorite foods and bake them to a state of YUM. Every time. Eat Happy. Flourish.



Korine Adams
Head Cake Decorator

Korine’s favorite cake flavor is coconut.

Korine is the Head Cake Decorator at Flourish Bakery Café in Chicago.

She began her career in cakery during high school at a Mrs. Field’s cookie shop. She loved the bakery work so much that she started decorating cakes for her local Meijer grocery store. It was true cake-cookie-decorating love.

Korine was formally trained at The French Pastry School in Chicago as well as the Wilton School of Confectionery Arts.

She previously worked at Bleeding Heart Bakery in Chicago, where she perfected her piping skills, fondant work, and tier-cake craft. Prior to that, Korine was Catering Coordinator at Chicago Bread in Arlington Heights, Illionis and lead cake decorator at several small bakeries throughout Indianapolis, Indiana.

Korine believes that beautiful cakes should taste delicious and that delicious cakes should look beautiful. One of Korine’s specialties is modernizing old fashioned favorites (carrot cake, german chocolate, etc.) so they maintain their tried and true flavor but look more contemporary and inviting. Her 4-inch individual cakes are a great representation of her artistic expression.

Mother of a 6-year old girl, Korine appreciates the value in children developing their love of the kitchen early in life. She is available for student demonstrations or kids events.

Ehsan Ganji
Master Bread Baker

Ehsan is the Master Bread Baker at Flourish Bakery Café in Chicago.

Drawn to the kitchens, Ehsan began his baking career after high school doing various apprenticeships in kitchens across America.

Ehsan started out as a pastry chef in 1982. Ten years later in 1992, he tasted artisan bread and fell in love with the flavor. He had to learn how to make it. Ehsan moved to New York City and started working for some of the best bakers in order to learn how to make the starters, grow the cultures and coax the most amazing flavor out of these handmade breads. He baked at Balthazar and Bouley. It was at Sullivan Street Bakery that he first learned the no knead style of making bread that became his personal favorite. He has also done pasta and pastry making at Il Buco in New York City and opened 54 Mint in San Francisco, known for its no knead semolina bread, pastas and pastries.

For Ehsan, bread making is quite personal. It’s a spiritual, meditative process that brings him deep joy. Baking is an art and way of life for Ehsan. He feeds his starters every 8 hours. The breads he makes take a minimum of 48 hours to ferment. The light, air circulation, drafts and temperatures all contribute to Ehsan’s bread batch. He bakes with all of his senses – the smell of the yeast, the sound of the dough mixing and the taste …obviously the taste.

Ehsan’s favorite bread is the No Knead Semolina. To Ehsan, the no knead bread has such incredible flavor because the flour, water, salt and culture is not kneaded – the natural flavors are coaxed out slowly through a long slow cool fermentation process.