Opportunity came knocking for Cindy Kienzle 16 years ago — heavily disguised. She was laid off from the job she’d had for ten years, and which she loved: head of marketing and customer communication for the Chicago Transit Authority. At the same time, at age 48, she learned she was pregnant. Three years later, with a toddler in tow — daughter Lily, who is the namesake for Hungry Monkey — Cindy began the journey toward her longtime dream of owning a bakery. In the audio clip below, she tells WGN’s Steve Alexander how she went from laid-off mom to a baker needing 10,000 pounds of bananas to fill an order from Jewel. Cindy says her banana breads had long been famous among friends and turned out to be a big seller at farmers’ markets. Then, Sunset Foods began selling her banana bread at its Chicago-area locations. But the biggest news of all came in October: Hungry Monkey Banana Bread, original plain, and signature chocolate chip, are being sold at 188 Jewel-Osco locations.

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