The holiday season is upon us. It is a time for togetherness and fellowship; nothing says love like sweet treats. Many Detroit bakeries are more than a business–they are a legacy of family entrepreneurship and recipes passed down throughout generations.
Take Sweet Potato Sensations on the city’s Northwest side. The nationally recognized bakeshop and cafe is the realization of a couple’s dream to be a place of refuge for their otherwise underserved neighborhood. The shop came to be when Cassandra and Jeffrey Thomas wed in 1976 and compromised on a Thanksgiving dessert–sweet potato cookies. More than 40 years later, the family business has been featured on Food Network.
“Kids come in our shop and are like, ‘Wow! This is in my neighborhood,” says Espy Thomas. “In Detroit, it’s downtown that gets a lot of love and we are starting to see some development in the neighborhoods, but everyone in the city deserves to see that nice things are possible in their communities.”
Bakeries were one of the kinds of businesses that even during Detroit’s most challenging economic times–remained available and in service to the community. This holiday season, Visit Detroit is showing a little love to some of the Black-Owned Bakeries that make our sweetest dreams come true.
Sweet Potato Sensations
17337 Lahser Rd • Detroit, MI
In their now 5,000-square-foot bakery/restaurant guests can order from the sweet or savory menu. On the sweet side try the sweet potato cookies that started it all or the sweet potato cheesecake. The traditional sweet potato pie is also a crowd-pleaser. On the savory side, the sandwiches and soups are very popular–especially the black-eyed pea and collard green soup served with a side of sweet potato cornbread. Check the website for advance orders for the holidays.
Good Cakes and Bakes
19363 Livernois Avenue • Detroit, MI 48221
This popular bakery known for some of the best cupcakes in Detroit have grown beyond their Livernois storefront and will soon be moving to a larger facility close by, according to Crain’s. The owners April and Michelle Anderson have been featured on various national news outlets as both a Black-owned and LGBTQ-owned business. Their mission is to provide quality baked goods that are wholesome and organic in nature; and to provide our baked goods in an environment that is positive, creative, educational and friendly to our employees and our community.
For the holidays, try any of the cakes and/or the yeast rolls which are a perfect compliment to your holiday meal.
Terri’s Cakes Detroit
By Online or Phone Order only
This mother-daughter business is an eastside favorite. The bakery offers delectable cake flavors like carrot-apple cake, cookies and cream cake, peach dream, and much more. They also offer cinnamon rolls, and 4-oz “Hipster Cupcakes” which are sold in a jar and are easily shippable across the country. Terri’s Cakes specializes in event cakes including for weddings and birthdays.
Nicole’s Bakery Boutique
19210 W McNichols Rd • Detroit, MI • (313) 740-7356
While some Google reviewers have remarked on how the hours at this westside bakeshop are spotty–they seem to be pleased when they can get a slice of the famous cake from Nicole’s Bakery Boutique, formerly known as The Cake Lady. The bakery serves classic flavors like Caramel, Red Velvet, Coconut Pineapple, Carrot, Dbl Chocolate, Pound Cake, German Chocolate, Yellow Chocolate & Lemon Pound Cake. Whole cakes range from $45-$50 and are $5 per slice. Call ahead to order.
Estella’s Vegan Cooking & Desserts
19120 Grand River Ave • Detroit, MI
Chef, food educator, and owner of Estella’s Vegan Cuisine and Desserts, Chantele Jones, has made it her mission to spread the plant-based lifestyle and its many health benefits. Her cookbook, “Our Vegan Family Favorites,” is her latest venture in showcasing family-friendly, delicious, vegan meals. On the sweet side of her menu, try the pound cakes, cookies, and muffins–Jones also ships her tasty, vegan treats across the country.
Sugar & Shenanigans
By Online and Phone Order Only
Specializing in multi-tiered cakes Sugar & Shenanigans is a home bakery that features beautifully created and adorned cakes created custom for every owner.
Peteet’s Famous Cheesecakes
13835 W. 9 Mile Rd. • Oak Park, MI
This family-owned business is known for their two-layer cheesecakes and have become a local staple by placing their brand inside other local restaurants, like the more than a dozen Captain Jay’s Chicken & Fish locations. They offer thirty (30) flavors of cheesecake in their bakeries, but claim to have recipes for over 90 flavors of delectable cheesecakes. Wholesalers can order five (5) flavors to choose from: Original, Sweet Potato, Key Lime, Turtle and Strawberry Delight.