Before Pam Turkin flung open the doors to the first Just Baked in 2009, she was just baking cupcakes on the weekends. But after her corporate travels took her past a growing number of cupcake shops outside of southeastern Michigan, she decided to turn her hobby into a career. She now helms 17 shops in the area, where she and her staff of dessert experts whip up eclectically flavored cupcakes such as red velvet cheesecake, chocolate chip cookie dough, and grumpy cake. In addition to the mouthwatering flavors, all of their items boast real butter, real eggs, and real milk as opposed to artificial ingredients from artificial cows and chickens.
The master bagel bakers at Detroit Bagel Factory bake appetite-provoking batches of bagels fresh each day, as they’ve done for more than half a century. Upon selecting a worthy entry from the bagel menu–stacked with varieties such as egg, everything, and blueberry–patrons can enjoy the famously versatile food in several manners such as slathering it with the shop’s homemade cream cheeses, pairing it with freshly brewed coffee, or infinitely searching for its end. At lunchtime, diners might trade cream cheese for deli fixings such as hot corned beef, baked ham, or tuna salad.
In business since 1927, West Fenkell Bakery upholds a tradition of creating preservative-free breads, sweets, and sandwiches with an Italian spin. The staff bakes fresh bread each morning, complementing it with everything from stromboli, pizza, and Italian subs to cannoli, cookies, and cupcakes. Visitors can pick up favorites such as banana-nut sweetbread, creative sweets such as chocolate-peppermint Sicilian cannoli, or seasonal holiday breads.
Each week, pre-booked tours take kids into Mary Denning's kitchen, where they learn about the creation of various cakes, pies, cookies, and baked goods. In one corner of the bakery, they might see the baker using Mary's mother's recipe to stuff pasties with ground sirloin and veggies. In another, owner Mary Denning creates custom cakes for weddings and special occasions, using icing to sculpt intricate floral designs or replicas of the edible baseball caps worn by famous gingerbread athletes.
But the cake shop doesn’t just accommodate kids. Mary and her team want to share their sweet creations with as many people as possible, so they make sugar and gluten free desserts and—on select days—host baking classes.
When Santa Toarmina arrived in Detroit from Italy, she discovered that Americans seemed to prefer a sweeter pizza sauce and started adapting her pies to better fit the American palate. Generations later, Toarmina?s Pizza still uses Grandma Toarmina?s recipes, topping crusts?which can come in flavors such as garlic and Cajun?with a sweet pizza sauce and such ingredients as house-smoked ham, fresh veggies, and a heap of Wisconsin mozzarella cheese.
And the chefs take time to really stretch out the mounds of dough into 24-inch crusts that can feed the entire family or one hungry, hungry hippo. The pizzeria also offers oven-baked subs, fresh salads, wings, and ribs blanketed in barbecue sauce.
On a warm August day in 1938, a father and son unveiled the first sample of what was to become Dairy Queen, selling 1,600 samples on the first day, a feat as unheard of as a dragon that breathes ice. Its ensuing prolific expansion was fueled by its frozen treats, which propelled the dessert shop from 100 stores in 1947 to 1,446 in 1950. Today, their dessert recipes remain largely unchanged, and Dairy Queen has added chili cheese dogs, barbecue pork, and grilled chicken to its menu. Dairy Queen's enormous dessert menu boasts treats ranging from soft-serve cones and blizzards filled with cookies to takeaway ice-cream sandwiches and cakes.