So far, we have met Tom, the owner of Angelina Italian Bistro, Yanni who owns the Golden Fleece and Exodus Rooftop Lounge in Greektown, and most recently, we went to Livernois to meet April, the founder and owner of Good Cakes and Bakes. What was supposed to be a quick, informational interview about revenue spikes turned into a much longer conversation as Vinit and I were unable to pull ourselves away from learning about April’s path to opening the bakery.
One of the common themes in April’s success story is her desire to keep learning. After receiving her MBA, April wanted to start her own business, but instead of being limited to her current skill set, decided to go to culinary school. Again, seeking even more knowledge, she enrolled in the Build Institute to learn how to start her business.
After April graduated from the Build Institute, things began to move quickly. She graduated in September 2013 and only six weeks later she already had her storefront up and running. Although it sounds like all smooth sailing and good fortune for April, none of this came to her purely out of luck, but instead came from her constantly putting herself out there and stepping up to the challenge. For example, she applied to REVOLVE Detroit, a competition for retail space, on whim with only hopes of getting her name on the list of participants and getting some exposure. When she ended up winning, she only had a few weeks to install plumbing in the building, build a kitchen, and launch a full business.
Even now, four years later, April takes everything in her stride and does not let opportunities slip away. What makes Good Cakes and Bakes more than just a bakery is that it serves as a safe, welcoming community space in an area that does not have very many of those. She lets people hold meetings there whether they buy something or not (it’s difficult not to when the brightly colored room smells like buttercream and vegan cupcakes). She even allows Good Cakes and Bakes to serve as a UPS drop off spot so people can safely send and receive packages, sacrificing a corning of her space to hundreds of Christmas presents during the winter. It’s refreshing to see such a good concept and a well thought out business be so successful, and I definitely will be making my way back for another cupcake.