With all the talk about the growing tech sector in Detroit, little attention has been paid to another rising part of the economy -- baked goods.
Just Baked, the Livonia-based regional cupcake shop chain, took the occasion of sweet-centered Valentine's Day to announce the opening of a new location inside Detroit's Dime Building. The historic building located at 719 Griswold was purchased last summer by Quicken Loans founder and entrepreneur Dan Gilbert's umbrella company, Rock Ventures LLC (along with a string of nearby buildings).
While Just Baked might be the first Detroit shop dedicated primarily to cupcakes, the store will be facing competition from the city's many bakeries. Sinful Sweets, which has a variety of baked goods -- including large-sized cakes -- is right down the street from the Dime Building, and city favorites like Cass Corridor's Avalon Bakery, Eastern Market's Milano Bakery, Southwest's La Gloria Bakery and Greektown's Astoria Pastry Shop have plenty of loyal customers.
But can you really have too many baked goods? Cupcakes, once children's birthday party treat that became popular for sweets lovers of all ages thanks to New York City's Magnolia Bakery in the 1990s, seem to inspire rabid fans. And Just Baked, which offers an impressive 65 varieties of cupcakes, is expanding rapidly. The Detroit location will be the company's 12th store since its founding in 2009, and Just Baked plans to have 50 franchises by the end of the year, according to MLive.
The Dime Building bakery will be open Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and weekends during major events. Just Baked made the opening announcement just in time for Detroit's biggest annual baked good event; next week is Fat Tuesday, otherwise known as Paczki Day, an excuse to stuff yourself with Polish doughnuts.
And if you prefer your carbs on the less-sweet side, December brought good news: The Detroit Institute of Bagels secured a location in Corktown for the city's only brick-and-mortar bagel shop. There's no set opening date yet, but you can follow along with the Institute's construction on its website.