NewsPositively Detroit


Detroit bakery and design businesses work together to create community impact

Good Cakes & Bakes' business exploded during the pandemic. They're hoping to expand in order to keep up with demand
Posted at 6:13 PM, Sep 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-21 18:17:58-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Good Cakes and Bakes on Livernois in Detroit is an integral part of the local community.

During the pandemic, demand for its sweets and treats exploded, not just locally, but also nationally. Now, the bakery is partnering with Concetti, a Detroit-founded interior design strategy studio, to expand their footprint.

April Anderson is the co-founder and owner of Good Cakes and Bakes. She admits she’s surprised by what the business has become.

“I thought we’d be something small, that maybe a couple of people would come to. But I never thought we’d get to the point where we have national recognition,” Anderson admitted.

She said things began to really take off during the pandemic when Good Cakes and Bake’s current shop at 19363 Livernois was redesigned, and they started shipping cakes around the country.

“We have shipped to every state in the United States thus far,” Anderson explained.

She said the bakery has always received support from the local community.

“We got little girls that come in, little brown girls that look like us who come in and be like, ‘Oh, she owns it. They own it.’ We see the joy and admiration they give to us and be like, ‘Someone looks like me that owns this beautiful building. I can own something too,’” Anderson said.

Anderson admitted she was formerly incarcerated. She said her son was too, and she was able to give him a job when he got out.

“Him being a Black male with a felony, he was going to need employment. But before he came home, he would tell his bunkies like, ‘Hey, my mother will hire you.’ So that’s how it started was people coming and saying, ‘Hey, your son told me you’d give me a job,’” Anderson said.

The recidivism rate in Michigan, the number of people who return to prison within three years, currently stands at 23.6%. Employment has long been understood to be a major deterrent.

Anderson said it’s not about what they’ve done, but what they want to do. She explained how the business has benefitted.

“We also get an employee who is dedicated, who is appreciative to have this second opportunity,” Anderson said.

In fact, Anderson said the relationship with the community has been so good, they can’t keep up with demand. So, they’re partnering with Concetti, which also helped them reimagine their current space, to expand once again. Rachel Nelson is the CEO and principal designer.

“I’m a third-generation Detroit business owner and an interior designer. So helping other fellow Detroit business owners with the design of their business, that’s where I’m at,” Nelson said.

The location for the Good Cakes and Bakes expansion will be on Meyers Road, just a couple miles away. It won’t be open to the public but will allow them to train workers and produce 350 cakes a day. Nelson explained the design philosophy.

“When we’re able to take the brand, the business model and we’re able to anticipate the needs of the actual employees, that’s when we create a design solution that will continue to send ripples out in a positive way,” Nelson explained.

The owner of the building told 7 Action News he hopes the expansion of Good Cakes and Bakes is just the beginning of revitalizing the neighborhood’s commercial corridor.

“It’s not about creating just a beautiful space — it’s about creating one that’s going to positively impact the community,” Nelson said.