Holly McDermitt and Sarah Stratton have been friends for several decades. A few years ago, they decided to become business partners, with their bakery, Michigan Made Treats. Last week, they celebrated their grand opening at Rathbun Accelerator Kitchen in the Allen Neighborhood Center on Lansing’s east side.
The duo, which had been whipping up desserts for family and friends for years, decided to share their love of baked goods with everybody. Initially, they were planning on operating under the Cottage Food Law, which allows people to make and sell specific foods in their home without being subject to inspections or obtaining a food license.
Once requests started piling up for specific items like cheesecakes, which require a food license, the pair decided to take their business to the next level. “We found the Allen Neighborhood Incubator Kitchen program and got licensed through them,” McDermitt said. “This program has been extremely helpful. This is a really good startup program.” After renting out hourly kitchen time in the incubator program, an opening to join other startup businesses in the accelerator kitchen became available about two months ago. Michigan Made Treats jumped at the opportunity.
“We got to a point where hourly rent was killing us financially, because we needed so many hours in the kitchen every morning,” Stratton said. “We were up to five or six hours a day, so when it opened up, and we had a set rent, it was much easier. It’s kind of like a stepping stone, so you don’t have to take out loans to get a brick and mortar.”
The full-service bakery’s popular items are cinnamon rolls, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, donuts and cheesecakes. It also prepares special orders for large catering events, like weddings and graduations. Michigan Made Treats products are also available at local retailers, including Capital City Meijer in downtown Lansing, 517 Coffee in Lansing and Donuts to Dogtreats & More in Charlotte. They’re hoping to add breakfast menu items in the near future.
“We love baked goods, we like to share and we like to feed people,” Stratton said. “We’re never satisfied with the status quo, we want to make things better, try new things and provide the best products to people — not just settle for mediocre or the same.”
Both co-owners still have day jobs, which makes for long days — but they said it’s worth it.
“It’s not the easiest, and we don’t get a lot of sleep,” Statton said. “We typically bake from midnight to 6 a.m., go to our day jobs until about 2:30 p.m., and then when we get home it’s just about bedtime. We didn’t really expect it to be easy, but we’re willing to work hard to make our business a success.”
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