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updated: 5/29/2013 9:01 PM

Palatine welcomes two new dessert spots

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  • JOE LEWNARD/DAILY HERALDOwner/baker Donnalyn Vojta, left, and baker Amanda Martensen hold pies at Crust'em Sweets in Palatine.

    JOE LEWNARD/DAILY HERALDOwner/baker Donnalyn Vojta, left, and baker Amanda Martensen hold pies at Crust'em Sweets in Palatine.


Got a sweet tooth? You've got two more dessert options in Palatine.

Both Crust'em Sweets Pies and Tarts and Yumz Gourmet Frozen Yogurt recently opened in the village, both by owners who opted to leave the corporate world.

The idea for Crust'em Sweets, located at 117 N. Northwest Highway opposite Community Park, was born last summer when attorneys Donnalyn and John Vojta had a craving for pie.

"There was nowhere around to get good pie, so my husband suggested I just make one," Donnalyn recalls. "I said 'what the heck' and we loved it."

Handling divorce and child custody cases for the past 13 years had taken an emotional toll on Donnalyn, so she turned her focus to the kitchen and baked every night after work for the next four months. Friends and family responded with rave reviews.

"There were a lot of mistakes, and a lot ended up in the garbage," Vojta, of Hoffman Estates, said. "But I taught myself and learned."

This spring, she opened Crust'em Sweets in a storefront behind her husband's law office (the entrance is on the side of the building). Vojta and her assistants make pies, tarts, pie crust cookies and "Mediterranean" popcorn with extra-virgin olive oil and sea salt.

Signature pies include the fruit, red velvet silk, strawberry shortcake, chocolate pecan and lemon dream. Vojta also gets creative with tarts, pointing to the s'mores -- the marshmallows get toasted -- and bananas fosters as favorites. Everything is made from scratch and no high fructose corn syrup is used.

Prices range from $4.99 for tarts up to $14.50 to $23 for pies. Vojta also does special events and three local restaurants including Richard Walker's and Gianni's have begun purchasing her treats.

Now through Aug. 1, patrons can get 10 percent off their purchase using the code 10DISC. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

For more information, visit or call (847) 934-7570.

Similar to Vojta, Kyung Kim decided to open Yumz, located in the former Hallmark storefront at 581 E. Dundee Road near Hicks, after a 23-year career with Motorola.

The single dad of two toddlers was told he'd have to relocate out-of-state after Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility, so Kim began to explore other ventures. Visiting Yumz in Crystal Lake had become a regular family outing, sparking the idea for buying a franchise.

Yumz offers a rotating selection of more than 45 flavors of frozen yogurt and sorbets and 70 toppings. The Palatine location also has outdoor seating and free Wi-Fi service.

"My son loved putting on the different toppings, and I liked that the yogurt wasn't as heavy and fattening as ice cream," Kim said.

His sister, Sun Pych, got on board as co-owner, and the duo hope to expand with another franchise in the future. Yumz operates eight other Chicago-area stores.

A grand opening celebration will take place this weekend beginning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Friday. Saturday will include giveaways and a live broadcast from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. by radio station 103.5 KISS FM. On Sunday, the first 50 customers get their yogurt free up to 5 ounces.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

For more information, call (847) 907-9045 or visit

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