EXPECT A MAJOR facelift at Babycakes in the next several weeks, and then, possibly by year’s end, a total body makeover.
“You’ve got to keep changing,” owner John Scheidt tells you, “or you get left behind.”
Here’s what he’s planning:
In Phase One (the facelift), a new facade on the building goes up. A red and gold exterior, with the word “Patisserie” written out in big, bold letters. The name Babycakes will remain but “Muffin Company” will disappear.
Don’t panic! They’ll still offer the classic Babycakes muffins. But as we’ve seen ever since Scheidt bought the shop last summer, they’ve increased their offerings, and will continue to do so.
A greater emphasis on paninis, more sandwich selections, more side salads, and, something new–bagels. Also, more French-syle pastries, which are a Scheidt favorite. Eclairs, Napoleons, croissants, mousses, etc.
Inside, the tables and cash register will be rearranged and a new 12 foot long, all-glass case will be installed to replace the current, wood-framed 6 foot model.
“Display cases (with the pastries inside) should look like you’re picking out jewelry,” Scheidt says.
That’s all supposed to happen by mid-June. Of course, we all know how building plans sometimes get delayed.
And then there’s Phase Two (the body makeover), which is planned, if all goes well, for November. Dax Richer is the architect.
The kitchen, which is now located in the back, goes downstairs into the basement. The current kitchen space becomes more tables and chairs, all the way to the back of the building. Greater capacity.
Next to one of the front windows goes a pastry-finishing station. Pedestrians and diners will be able to watch the pastry chef performing his/her art.
And the all-glass display case will be extended yet again, to 21 feet. Lots more room for the culinary jewelry.
“I go to Europe a lot,” Scheidt explains, “and I want to bring a French-style pastry shop to Marquette.” He says there are only three other such shops in the Midwest–two in Chicago, one in Minneapolis.
What makes this renovation especially interesting is the announcement late last year that another patisserie/coffee shop would be locating in the 231 Building, just a couple of doors down from Babycakes. Last we heard, that project was still moving forward, though the exterior of the building has not changed yet.
That’s in addition to the Coffee Shop Craze. Contrast Coffee and Allenatore have opened on Third Street, joining Java Bay and Third Street Bagel (which, of course, are hybrids), and still to come on Third Street, yet another coffee shop where the owners don’t want to make any official or unofficial announcement just yet. That’s in addition to Velodrome and Dead River and Huron Mountain and Biggby and Starbucks and…
Yikes. Coffee and pastries. Caffeine and sugar. We’ll never be able to fall asleep.
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