KIM DANIELSON WILL not be reporting to work at Babycakes on Tuesday.
That’s because she has just sold her coffee shop/bakery/restaurant, a downtown favorite for almost three decades, to the Huron Mountain Bakery.
“I’m sure I’ll miss it,” she says, “but it just felt like it was time to move on. I’ve had a lot of offers to buy it over the last few years but things didn’t work out. This just felt right, and it’s worked out.”
She started Babycakes back in 1988. She was a most unlikely candidate to open a bakery–an engineer, a prison employee overseeing construction and maintenance. But she liked baking.
At home, she made muffins for her baby son. She called them “baby cakes.” Hence, the name Babycakes.
She told her husband Bob what she wanted to do. “He knew I was excited about it,” she says, “and he said, ‘I’ll support you in it for one year.’ He’s still supporting me, 29 years later.”
Babycakes has changed through the years–in its food, furniture and decor, but the muffins–blueberry in particular–have been the constant. They’re borderline iconic.
The biggest challenge for Kim? The low-carb and low-sugar movements.
“I thought, ‘That’s not good news because we sell a lot of carbs,'” Kim says. “So we took a step back and figured out what to do. We created more low-carb, high-protein foods. We came up with a crustless quiche.”
She, Bob and her many employees made Babycakes the go-to center for downtown business meetings, study sessions, morning and afternoon dates, and just sweet, soothing getaways from our workaday world.
“What warms my heart,” Kim says, “is when people tell me they used to come here when they were students, then they went away, and then they’d come back, and the first place they wanted to go was Babycakes. One woman told me her husband proposed to her here, and then after she had her baby, her first stop downtown was Babycakes. That makes you feel good.”
What next for the Danielsons? She’s not sure. They’ve travelled extensively overseas. Now they’re thinking more of travel within the U.S. They’ll have plenty of time on their hands. No more early mornings, busy noontimes, and demanding catering jobs.
Those duties will now fall to the Huron Mountain Bakery, owner John Scheidt, and his staff. They’ve built quite a reputation for themselves in their bakery and coffee shop on US 41 in south Marquette, and their shop in Ishpeming. Starting today, they’ve got an exciting new challenge in the heart of downtown. More about them later this week.
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