Wholesome, ready to make meals Made with ❤ in Chicago, Illinois

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Spark of the Heart  
(or, “what’s in a name?”) 

Spark of the Heart is a Chicago-based business that produces and sells packaged bean based food mixes to wholesalers and retailers throughout Chicagoland and online. Our bean soups, salads, and side dishes are based on the recipes that co-founder Cynthia Zeki created for her family and friends. Our foods are all-natural, nutritionally-dense, naturally vegan and gluten-free. They do not contain artificial ingredients, fillers, or preservatives, and are complete and easy to prepare.  

We consider ourselves a socially conscious business. In the early days of Spark of the Heart, we needed to have a method of packaging our soups for our growing customer base. Wanting to create a business with a sense of social consciousness, we pursued the idea of working with a disadvantaged population to obtain the help we needed to grow.  

Thomas talked to the director of Search, Inc., a local center that provides day care programs for the developmentally challenged, regarding short run packaging production for us. Search welcomed the opportunity to work with us. Thomas had previously worked with this population and knew that they would not only be able to package our soups, but also benefit from the experience through the development of fine motor skills, social skills, and pride and income generated from a job well done. The clients there still happily package our soups, which are designated for our Farmer’s Market customers. 

We wanted to further our commitment to social responsibility beyond employing these special folk.  We decided that we would donate a soup to a homeless shelter and/or food pantry.  We currently donate periodically to Deborah’s Place, a shelter for abused women and their children.