When April Anderson realized her small bakery on Detroit’s west side had outgrown her, she thought adding a simple wall might solve the problem. That project soon turned into a business expansion that will see Good Cakes & Bakes open a second location inside a previously abandoned 5,600-square-foot building nearby.
“I resisted at first, but it was 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 his wife and business partner, Michelle, make their dream bakery a reality. Good Cakes & Bakes previously partnered with Concetti in 2020 to redesign their current physical store on Detroit’s historic Avenue of Fashion.
“With Good Cakes and Bakes, we are your design partner,” says Concetti CEO and Lead Designer Rachel Nelson. “[We’re] really aiming to be a partner not only through brand aesthetics and design, but we are actually their partner in anticipating and creating this space that will anticipate the needs of customers and employees.” .
In 2020, the bakery was geared more towards creating a seating area for customers to enjoy sweet treats, rather than the size of the kitchen space and actual work space. After much success in that space and positive customer feedback, the Andersons knew it was time to make a change that would include expanding their business.
“To do this [project] happens, we take the time to figure out how April and Michelle are going to use the space, how their employees are going to use the space, and ultimately every decision is based on supporting that role,” says Nelson.
Concetti and the Andersons worked together, redesigning the new bakery. They say the groups continue to have weekly meetings and gatherings for the renovation project. Anderson says the new development project has been estimated to cost more than $300,000.
The new building will house a commercial kitchen, office, logistics center and a teaching kitchen for baking classes.
Nelson says that at Concetti, one of his main focuses is community.
“It’s about the people and businesses we collaborate with every day, and that’s why our partnership with Good Cakes & Bakes means so much to us, as they’re so community-focused,” he 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 on Livernois Avenue. It will be Concetti’s largest commercial project to date.
The new bakery is scheduled to open in the spring of 2023.
“Our goal is to work with our client as co-creators and collaborators, so no matter how big a project company is, we never lose sight of our human-centric approach,” says Nelson. “For this project, we’re taking into consideration the entire employee journey from when they park their car to when they leave the building after a shift. It is through our three phase design process that we create a safe and efficient space that makes you feel good. April and Michelle are incredibly involved in everything. We have weekly meetings and really take the time to look at other successful compliance operations.”
Adds Anderson, “We look forward to the positive impact the new expansion will have on the Detroit community.”
The business continues to employ people who return to the community after being incarcerated. Anderson explains that she and her son were previously incarcerated, but once she returned home, she was able to offer him a job at the bakery.
“It’s a great feeling to be 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 clients have requested and we will have the option of ‘pay what you can'”.
She adds: “This experience has been really amazing. Although we had an ideal of what to expect due to the latest remodel, this has been better because we can work from a raw space to totally design it our way. The Concetti team is wonderful with design, but they are also great teachers. We continue to learn valuable information about design with purpose from your team.”
Once the new bakery opens, customers 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 hope to have more room to fulfill orders, expand shipments nationally, and bring our community to our bakery,” says Anderson.
“Detroit deserves spaces like this,” says Nelson. “Not just in the suburbs, the city and the community deserve 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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