Detroit’s Good Cakes & Bakes expands into former abandoned building

The bakery will use the new space for a commercial kitchen, office, fulfillment center, and community baking classes

click to enlarge Good Cakes & Bakes on Detroit's historic Avenue of Fashion is expanding. - Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo
Good Cakes & Bakes on Detroit's historic Avenue of Fashion is expanding.

When April Anderson realized that she had outgrown her small bakery on Detroit’s Westside, she thought adding a simple wall could resolve the problem. That project soon grew into an expansion of the business that will see Good Cakes & Bakes open a second location inside a nearby 5,600-square-foot formerly abandoned building.

“I was resistant at first, but it was totally worth it,” says Anderson, co-founder and pastry chef of Good Cakes & Bakes.

The project is being led by local interior design strategy studio Concetti, which is helping Anderson and her wife and business partner, Michelle, to bring their dream bakery to reality. Good Cakes & Bakes previously partnered with Concetti in 2020 to redesign their current brick-and-mortar store on Detroit’s historic Avenue of Fashion.

“With Good Cakes and Bakes, we are their design partner,” says Concetti CEO and principal designer Rachel Nelson. “[We’re] really aiming to be a partner not only through the aesthetics of brand and design, but we are actually their partner in anticipating and creating this space that is going to anticipate client and employee needs.”

In 2020, the bakery was geared more toward creating a sitting area for customers to enjoy sweet treats, instead of the size of the kitchen space and the actual working space. After much success in that space and positive feedback from customers, the Andersons knew it was time to make a change that would include an expansion of their business.

“To make this [project] happen, we take the time to get to know how April and Michelle are going to use the space, how their employees are going to use the space, and ultimately every decision comes back to supporting that function,” says Nelson.

Concetti and the Andersons worked collectively, redesigning the new bakery. They say the groups continue to have weekly meetings and meet-ups for the renovation project. Anderson says that it has been estimated that the new development project will cost over $300,000.

click to enlarge A photo of the new space for Good Cakes & Bake's new building (left) and a rendering of Concetti's new interior design for it. - Courtesy of Concetti
Courtesy of Concetti
A photo of the new space for Good Cakes & Bake's new building (left) and a rendering of Concetti's new interior design for it.

The new building will feature a commercial kitchen, office, fulfillment center, and teaching kitchen for baking classes.

Nelson says at Concetti, one of their main focuses is community.

“It’s all about the people and the businesses that we collaborate with each day, and that’s why our partnership with Good Cakes & Bakes means so much to us, since they are so community-focused,” she says. “It allows us to do what we are most passionate about, which is supporting local initiatives and forming partnerships that bring us together to learn, grow, and celebrate as one.”

The new bakery is located at 16180 Meyers Rd. in Detroit, not far from the Good Cakes & Bakes store one Livernois Avenue. It will be Concetti’s biggest commercial project to date.

The new bakery is anticipated to open by spring 2023.

“We are all about working with our client as co-creators and collaborators, so no matter how big an undertaking of a project is we never lose sight of our human-centric approach,” Nelson says. “For this project we are taking into consideration the entire employee journey from when they park their car to when they exit the building after a shift. It is through our three-phased design process that we create an efficient safe space that makes them feel good. April and Michelle are incredibly involved in everything. We have weekly meetings, and we really took the time to study other successful fulfillment operations.”

Anderson adds, “We are looking forward to the positive impact that new expansion will have on the Detroit community.”

The business continues to employ people that are returning to the community after being incarcerated. Anderson explains that she and her son were both previously incarcerated, but once he returned home, she was able to offer him a job at the bakery.

“It’s a great feeling being able to help people,” says Anderson.

“It will help the community by adding over 20 new jobs,” she says. “In addition, we will offer baking classes, which our customers have requested and have a ‘pay what you can’ option.”

She adds, “This experience has been truly amazing. Even though we had an ideal of what to expect because of the last remodel, this has been better because we get to work from a raw space to totally design it our way. The Concetti team is wonderful with designing, but they are also great teachers. We continue to learn valuable information about designing with purpose from their team.”

Once the new bakery opens, clients will have access to products with wholesale accounts, and baking classes will also be available at the bakery for customers and their families.

“With this new bakery, I am looking forward to more space to fulfill orders, expansion of nationwide shipping, and bringing our community into our bakery home,” says Anderson.

“Detroit deserves spaces like this,” Nelson says. “Not just in the suburbs, in the city and the community deserves to see successful Black women doing what they do best. There is nothing more powerful than that.”

Good Cakes & Bakes is located at 19363 Livernois Ave., Detroit; more information is available at goodcakesandbakes.com.

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