Sweets for your Sweetie from Good Cakes and Bakes in Detroit

t's the caramel cake that draws people in.

And the red velvet. And the gooey cake. And the cupcakes. And the pies. But it’s the caramel cake that's building a reputation on the Avenue of Fashion.

The Avenue of Fashion has seen its ups and downs, but is certainly trending upward lately. The stretch of Livernois Avenue once home to some of the most fashionable boutiques in the city still has the boutiques, but also art galleries, coffee houses, restaurants and Good Cakes and Bakes, which opened in 2013.

April Anderson, the shop's owner, is from Detroit but her career took her far as Arizona and back to Michigan again. A lifelong baker – she had been baking since she was nine – she hadn't considered making a hobby into a business until she read an article on cake decorating in 2009.

Think about the last time you baked a cake or made some cupcakes. After it was done, did you plop them out the pan and add a layer of canned frosting with the nearest butter knife? Or did you go an extra mile: Making the frosting by hand, using special tools, carefully adding detail to the finished product?


That was Anderson's goal when getting a degree in pastry arts from Macomb Community College. Next was the business plan. "I looked at my wife (Michelle), and said 'I’m going to leave my day job,'" she recalls saying. And she mimics a scowl. "She said, 'who’s going to pay the bills?'"

The gamble paid off. With guidance from Revolve Detroit, an accelerator driven by the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, and the Build Institute, a business development service, Anderson opened Good Cakes and Bakes 91 days after leaving her job.

Good Cakes and Bakes doubles as a community space, where discussions are held with speakers and the like. As a growing anchor of the 7 Mile-Livernois community, The White House shared a photo of Mayor Mike Duggan visiting the shop on its official Instagram account.

"The community supports us," Anderson says, a notable declaration with additional meaning. It's one of a handful of local businesses, on Livernois or elsewhere in the city, with visible LBGT ownership.

Next on the shop's agenda is possible expansion into catering services. For now, Anderson is further perfecting the gooey cake. "It's my favorite,” she says.

Connect online at GoodCakesAndBakes.com.

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