Dilapidated to Inspired: Transforming an Abandoned Building to a Detroit Bakery Fulfillment Center

Sep 16, 2022 | community, Detroit, Renovation and Remodeling

“We are Concetti. We believe in Detroit. We believe in design. We believe in people – in their dreams, their stories, and their grit.”

These aren’t just words that grace the homepage of our website. They’re a driving force behind the partnerships we attract…Partnerships like Good Cakes & Bakes, a Detroit-based bakery that employs those returning to the community after incarceration. We first worked with the 2017 Rocket Mortgage Detroit Demo Day (now Venture 313) $200,000 winner in 2020 to redesign its first brick-and-mortar store, located at 19363 Livernois in Detroit.

Our first Good Cakes & Bakes project prioritized the customer experience and reactivated unused areas to allow for more functionality and efficiency within the 2,200-square-foot space. From chicken wires to a brown and white awning and the scent of baked goods, this redesign hits all five senses while reflecting the bakery’s community-focused brand.

The bakery initially opened as a co-working space, with more focus on the customer area and less focus on the size of the kitchen. Upon the overwhelmingly positive response from the community, Owners April and Michelle Anderson knew a bigger working space was needed, which led them back to our team.

Our next project with the bakery will include designing a currently abandoned 5,600-square-foot building located at 16180 Meyers in Detroit and will be our biggest commercial project to date. Scheduled to be complete by spring 2023, we’ll work to reimagine it into a fulfillment center, education space, and headquarters to support their new ventures in nationwide shipping and baking classes – allowing them to add revenue streams.

Read on to discover how we’ll be helping Good Cakes & Bakes further their mission while revitalizing a dilapidated structure in this wonderful city of ours.

A Human-Centric Vision

No matter how big of an undertaking a project is, we never lose sight of our human-centric approach.

When we first partnered with the Andersons back in 2020, we went in with the belief that the places where we work deeply impact our well-being. Holding true to that same belief, the purpose of this project is to create a space that facilitates an effortless, inspired and truly unified experience for both the customer and the employee.

“For this project, we are taking into consideration the entire employee journey – from when they park their car to when they exit the building after a shift. Through our three-phase design thinking process, we’re creating an efficient, safe space that makes their team feel good while embracing the bakery’s brand and supporting its business needs,” said Concetti Chief Executive Office and Principal Designer Rachel Nelson.

With the bakery’s current daily shipment of 100 cakes nationwide, creating a positive employee experience that fuels customer satisfaction is all in the details.

“Talking with Concetti helped us decide on not only the beautiful aesthetic of the space, but also how we can get more production with less steps. They can help us with the functionality of the space to make sure people aren’t reaching too far or having to walk too far to get their jobs done,” said Co-Owner and Pastry Chef April Anderson.

A Positive Impact on Clients, Detroit, and the Community

At the heart of Concetti is community. It’s all about the people and the businesses that we collaborate with each day. Our partnership with community-focused brand Good Cakes & Bakes allows us to do what we’re most passionate about – support local initiatives and form partnerships that bring us together to learn, grow, and celebrate as one.

On top of supporting their employees, Good Cakes & Bakes is part of a bigger community picture – just recently, Rocket Mortgage Detroit Demo Days announced its evolvement and rebrand to “Venture 313,” with a focus on building economic mobility and supporting entrepreneurs’ ventures.

As the 2017 Detroit Demo Day winner, the bakery recently participated in Venture 313’s recent announcement campaign, which highlighted the Concetti-designed, reimagined Good Cakes & Bakes brick-and-mortar space. Our team was delighted to check out Venture 313 and attend the announcement!

Coming together with this group of people multiplied the passion we have for this project. We’re beyond excited to see how it will impact the Detroit community and cities across the U.S.!

We’d also like to give a shout-out to our project partners JJ’s House and Vanguard Design Group. By bringing their expertise, our renovation partners empower us as design strategists. Together, we're a unified team, fully equipped to support Good Cakes & Bakes and its mission.



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