Historic Kingsley Building makes a comfortable new home for Connie's Cakes

When Mary Scheidel wanted to move her business, Connie's Cakes, to a more neighborly and pedestrian/bike-friendly location, she had no idea what was in store by moving into Eastown. "I've already had a slew of neighboring businesses stop by and introduce themselves, and the foot traffic is far greater than we had in Cutlerville," she says. "It has been really exciting."

After more than a year of searching for the perfect location, Scheidel opened Connie's Cakes on Friday, Jan. 11 on the Robinson Road side of the Kingsley Building (at Robinson and Lake Drive). Scheidel bought the business in April 2010 from her Aunt Connie Hennip, who had operated for more than 15 years on the 7000 block of South Division in Cutlerville. While the business had done very well at that location, serving clients all over West Michigan, Scheidel felt a longing to move into more of a neighborhood business district.

She began her search in late 2011, focusing on the rapidly growing East Hills area. A family friend who owns Making Thyme Kitchen on Cherry St. recommended that she work with Guy Bazzani and his most recent renovation project at the historic Kingsley Building, which has recently received designation as a National Historic Site.

Scheidel took one look at the space and knew her vision for creating a nostalgic pastry shop would work perfectly in the 2000-square-foot space. Scheidel wanted her shop to reflect the time period in which the building was built, so that customers would imagine that it had existed there since the beginning.

Connie's Cakes specializes in cakes from a butter cream recipe created by Scheidel's Aunt Connie. They'll custom design cakes for all occasions, both for personal and business events -- they even created the giant cake for the most recent Juice Ball -- and now include fondant cakes. They also bake giant and miniature cupcakes, cookies, brownies, dessert bars, and muffins on site throughout the day.

Although not technically a cafe where you can sit down and eat, their new space has a bakery case stocked daily with fresh treats for walk-in and bike-in customers. She did mention that she won't kick you out if you want to stay and eat. Scheidel employs two "top notch" designers in house and all of the pastry creations are built from scratch on site.

Future plans include possible outdoor seating in the small alley next door to their space, and Scheidel is already looking forward to riding her bike to the Fulton Street Farmer's Market when local fruits are in season for added ingredients. Gluten-free menu items are also in the works.

Hours of operation for Connie's Cakes are Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Saturdays, 9 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. They will also do wedding consultations during the evenings by appointment. Their Facebook page can be found here. Their official address is 1416 Robinson Road, less than a block from The Rapid's Route 6 bus line.

Source: Mary Scheidel, Connie's Cakes
Writer: Jeff Hill, Publisher

Photos by Jeff Hill

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