By Juliana Moxley
Old Town Lansing Times staff writer
OLD TOWN LANSING — Whether you’re in search of the perfect wedding cake or just something to satisfy your sweet tooth, Whipped Bakery in Old Town has your cravings covered.
A new addition to the art district
Old Town is known to it’s visitors as the art district — a place where creativity and passion for art come together. Not all shops in Old Town sell actual pieces of art though; creative restaurants and cafes line the streets, giving customers options other than chain restaurants. It is only fitting that Whipped Bakery decided to relocate to an area where it’s eye for creativity matches that of Old Town’s.
Whipped Bakery is a locally established bakery that first started out in DeWitt, Mich., in the late 1980s. The bakery has recently taken up new residence in Old Town as of February 8, in the hopes of utilizing the customer traffic.
After being the owner of Whipped Bakery for the past two years, Randy Umfleet decided the bakery would better maximize sales by moving to an area with a high customer volume. That’s where Old Town came into the picture.
“Old Town is a destination,” Umfleet said. “People park and walk the sidewalks, going from shop to shop. In DeWitt, it did not have that at all. It was a non-retail area — I had no traffic.”
The move from DeWitt to Old Town did not result in lost clientele; loyal customers followed the bakery to it’s new location and have also increased the foot traffic in the district, according to OTCA Executive Director Louise Gradwohl.
“So far, a lot of people walk in my office asking where they (Whipped Bakery) are and that’s more than normal,” Gradwohl said. “More people are following them, so it’s bringing more people that normally don’t come to Old Town.”
Creole Gallery owner Ena Busby said the bakery being established prior to it’s move was very beneficial, and she has also noticed the increase in customer traffic. Busby said the bakery is perfect addition that Old Town needed.
“I’ve been in Old Town since I was young — we haven’t had a bakery like that since then and this is something that was absolutely needed,” Busby said.
A new neighbor
Located on Turner Street, Whipped Bakery is a neighbor to Katalyst Art Gallery and Creole Gallery. Busby has more than just a friendly neighbor connection to the bakery — she actually owns the building space that Whipped Bakery is renting.
“They found out about the space through Louise at the OTCA and they contacted me. I showed them the space and they loved it,” Busby said.
Umfleet said one of his reasons for wanting to make the move was to gain more space. He said he wanted to be able to fully display the bakery items and have an area where people can sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee with a sweet treat — an added feature that the new Old Town location offers.
Katalyst Art Gallery owner Sara Christiansen commends Whipped Bakery for it’s creativity,
saying that it adds to Old Town’s creative atmosphere.
“I think it’s a great addition to our community,” Christiansen said.
According to Busby, Whipped Bakery’s spread of deserts not only look amazing but they all taste great too. A mix of employee charisma, great prices and fabulous deserts could possibly turn the bakery’s visitors into frequent buyers.
“Randy is so sweet and kind; he has a good spirit — no wonder his business is doing so well,” Busby said. “His prices are really good. I’ve paid more for cookies and cupcakes from other places that cost more money and they are not as good as Whipped Bakery’s.”
Bakeries vs. superstores
Owning a business and making enough profits to stay in business can be stressful in today’s economy. Umfleet said he thinks specialty shops, such as cupcake shops, are becoming more popular lately rather than bakeries. Big superstores that sell baked goods are big competition for bakeries and can pose a threat to a bakery’s survival.
“You don’t see bakeries opening as much as you see them closing — that’s due to superstores , such as Meijer,” Umfleet said.
Superstores offer more quantity of baked goods for a lower price, which is what takes away from a bakery’s clientele.
“They aren’t the same, that’s why we exist so that we can serve customers that have specific needs, like a custom designed cake — you can’t walk into a grocery store and get that,” Umfleet said.
Old Town is the only location of Whipped Bakery, and Umfleet said that’s the only location he plans on having as of now.
“Right now I just want to operate one location very well,” Umfleet said.
Questions? Contact Juliana Moxley at email@example.com or (586) 819-9750