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Sister Pie Presses Pause on Mack Avenue Cafe Expansion

Owner Lisa Ludwinski decided not to lease a building on Mack Avenue

An employee wearing a ponytail works at a table behind the many pie display counters at Sister Pie in Detroit.
Sister Pie.
Michelle and Chris Gerard
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

West Village’s hit bakery Sister Pie has canceled plans for a Mack Avenue expansion. In a post shared to social media on Tuesday, owner Lisa Ludwinski wrote that she and her staff “have decided not to pursue a lease at the 8110 Mack location as previously announced.”

In April, Crain’s reported that Ludwinski had signed a letter of intent for the 8,000-square-foot Mack Avenue building with plans to open Sister Pie on Mack: a 35-seat cafe with savory breakfast and lunch items; a market with a grab-and-go section and staple items like eggs, milk, and butter; as well as a space for cooking classes. At the time, Ludwinski was still piecing together funding for the project. Sister Pie was one of 15 finalists that pitched at Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day this summer, but was not among the winners.

“One of the best (and most challenging) parts of growing a business is being able to pivot, to question, to change, and to get creative,” Ludwinski writes of the decision to pause the expansion.

Responding to requests for comment this afternoon regarding whether she planned to move forward with the project, Ludwinski provided an email that was shared with neighbors in the community around Sister Pie earlier this month. In the message, Ludwinski wrote that “concerns regarding lease negotiations gave us a chance to step back” and reflect on the future of the business. Sister Pie’s team determined that “the space on Mack is not an ideal fit for our vision.” Ludwinski reiterated her goal to grow within the neighborhood, and left open the possibility of building something “from scratch” or finding a new building.

The news comes as Sister Pie enters the busy holiday season. The shop has already closed its pre-orders for Thanksgiving, though customers can always stop by the Kercheval for first-come, first-served pies during the holiday week.

Update, 3 p.m., October 29: This story has been updated with additional information from Lisa Ludwinski.

Sister Pie’s Next Big Move Is a Cafe and Grocery Store [ED]
All Sister Pie Coverage [ED]

Sister Pie on Mack

8110 Mack Ave., Detroit, MI Visit Website

Sister Pie

8066 Kercheval Avenue, , MI 48214 (313) 447-5550 Visit Website