Good Cakes and Bakes owners April and Michelle Anderson are having a sweet week.
Wednesday night, the pair snagged coveted front-row seats to Beyonce’s Renaissance Tour at Ford Field after baking cakes for Bey and the family — just par for the course for the couple’s regular catering gig at the stadium. The next morning, the Andersons were joined by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans, City Councilwoman Mary Waters, and other local leaders to cut the ribbon for their second location at 22 W. Columbia in downtown’s so-called District Detroit.
“We are so excited to be down here because we have the opportunity to be a part of this district and so we were excited to be able to bring an outpost of [our] Livernois [location] out of the neighborhood and into the downtown area,” April Anderson said Thursday, July 27, during a news conference outside of the new space.
The new location along Columbia Street is about 1,300 square feet and now open to the public 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Hours will vary on game days and during special events. Anderson told the crowd Thursday that while some of the bake shop’s signature treats may not be available at the more compact retail space, it will cater to the downtown office worker crowd with an array of savory items like breakfast biscuits, quiche, and caffeinated beverages.
Good Cakes and Bakes launched a decade ago as a cozy neighborhood bakery and cafe on the Avenue of Fashion and quickly garnered national attention for its decadent cakes, vegan-friendly baked goods, and welcoming environment. In January 2023, the bake shop was named a semifinalist for Outstanding Bakery from the James Beard Foundation Awards.
“I’m so happy, I don’t know what to do for you because it’s not only a Black business, but you are business people, you are fitting into the fabric of what the city is trying to become,” said Evans during the grand opening ceremony.
The Olympia Development-owned District entertainment area started welcoming its first food and drink tenants in 2019, with the opening of Ann Arbor-based and Cuban-style burger spot Frita Batido’s and a location for the smoothie bowl chain Rush Bowls (which has since shuttered and swapped for Good Cakes and Bakes). In 2021, Union Joints’ hospitality group launched Union Assembly, a two-story 14,800-square-foot restaurant with a mezzanine and two large patios and seating for up to 500. The restaurant group collaborated with Eminem to launch the tiny Mom’s Spaghetti window to the side of the sprawling establishment. Earlier this year, the block also added locally-based chain Sahara Restaurant into the mix.
The journey toward expansion has been winding for Good Cakes and Bakes over the years. Anderson tells Eater that she was approached by Bill Salliote, director of development at Olympia a few months ago about the vacant space previously occupied by the smoothie bowl place. Good Cakes already had a presence downtown at the time because of its contract with Ford Field. She says that Salliote offered the Andersons a deal on rent, paving the way for the duo to open within the 1,300-square-foot retail storefront.
Baking for both the Avenue of Fashion store and the new spot will continue at the flagship location. Meanwhile, plans to develop a fulfillment center inside a formerly abandoned 5,600-square-foot building are currently on hold. Anderson says she hopes to resume progress on that front so the bake shop can expand its wholesale capabilities.
As for that magical night with the Bey Hive the night prior to the opening festivities, Anderson says she did her homework and knew just what Beyonce and Co. would enjoy.
“I know Beyonce and her family’s vegan so I wanted to make sure that we give some treats that are vegan. We provided them with our vegan strawberry crunch jars, vegan red velvet jars, and vegan carrot cakes. We heard that everybody loved it, and that the kids really enjoyed having the cakes in those jars,” she says.
Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Foundation Awards.