REDI-helped bakery brings custom cakes and treats to Roseville

By: Sara Kandel | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published December 19, 2011

 Incredible Edibles on 13 Mile Road in Roseville has different baked goods every day, from cookies and biscotti to mini-pies and cupcakes.

Incredible Edibles on 13 Mile Road in Roseville has different baked goods every day, from cookies and biscotti to mini-pies and cupcakes.

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ROSEVILLE — It’s a new bakery in a remodeled ice cream parlor. The décor is clean, yet inviting, and the sweets that line the shelves of the display counter add a splash of color that stands out against the black-and-white checkered floor.

Here, the cakes and cupcakes look as good as they taste. Some of them could be straight out of a Dr. Seuss book with brightly colored, smooth fondant finishes topped with edible flowers, colorful swirls, crumb sprinkles and more.

But this isn’t one of those fancy designer bakeries.

At Incredible Edibles in Roseville, customers are just as likely to find traditional Italian baked goods and classic American cookies as they are the custom cakes and cupcakes that are pictured in the window and available for purchase inside.

“We have people coming in buying the old-fashioned Italian biscotti, and we have people coming in buying the German chocolate cannoli stuffed cupcakes that no one else in the world has,” said owner Lynn Biliti. “If it is weird and it is different, we’ll have it. If someone can think of something that they can’t find out there and they come in and tell us … we’ll make it.”

Biliti does everything from cherry bombs to “The Elvis” — a banana cupcake with peanut-butter butter cream frosting, garnished with bananas foster and bacon — but despite all the fancy ingredients and the pleasing look of the goodies she sells, prices aren’t extravagant.

Cookies start at just 33 cents with some of the higher-end ones going two for $1. Her regular cupcakes are $1.75, and the stuffed ones are $2.25.

“We are literally half the price of some of the other cupcake places that have popped up in surrounding areas,” she said. “And people are generally thrilled that we are here doing what we are doing and offering our baked goods at a pretty reasonable price, and I am happy to be here doing it, because not everyone gets this opportunity.”

The opportunity came by way of the Roseville Entrepreneurial Development Initiative, or REDI, grant offered through the city of Roseville. She’s the first entrepreneur to be awarded the grant, which is worth $25,000 and paid out through CDBG funds to help promote small-business ownership and job creation in the city.

“Lynn was a great applicant for the grant,” said Mike Connors, Roseville’s community and economic development director. “She’s a Roseville resident and a displaced worker, plus it’s a woman-owned minority business. It’s a win-win, and I am just so glad we were able to give her a hand up, because with her that is definitely what it is. She’s a hard-worker and a fighter, that’s just her personality.”

While Biliti has been baking for as long as she remembers, she was never a baker by trade — well, not until a little more than a year ago.

A 20-year Roseville resident, Biliti, 51, worked in human resources for most of her career.

“I got laid off in 2009,” she said. “I went from a $70,000 a year job in HR to being unemployed. It used to be that if I sent out 20 resumes, I would get responses to 18 of them, but this time I sent out 450 resumes, and I didn’t even get a rejection letter for any one of them. It was just nothing, no response. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

It was during that uncertain time that a friend asked her to make a Comerica Park cake for his birthday. Biliti wasn’t so sure she could do it. She could bake, that much she knew, but make it look like the ballpark? That she wasn’t so sure of. She declined the offer.

“Then I thought about it for a couple days, and I thought, ‘Well, it might be fun to do with all the new stuff that is out there,’” she said. “There is a lot more now then when my kids were little. All there was out there to work with then was plastic picks and butter cream. So I took it on and I did it.”

The cake was a huge success. It didn’t take long for the orders to start rolling in after that.

Biliti says she still wasn’t sure she wanted to take them all on, but as order after order came in and went out a success, she realized for the first time in a long time she was happy because she was finally making other people happy.

“I spent all my career pretty much making people miserable in the HR field. Now, I make people happy every day, and it’s a good feeling,” she said.

In April, Biliti was at City Hall on other business when she saw the community development office and decided on whim to ask if they had any plans for new businesses.

They did.

And after a long and at times grueling five months, the city notified her that she had received the grant.

“A third party committee made up of representatives from Christian Financial Credit Union, First State Bank and Huntington Bank reviews and underwrites the grants,” Connors said. “They thought she had a business plan that would be successful.”

And at just a few weeks old, it appears they were very much correct.

“We are swinging cookies out of here right and left,” Biliti said, on a day she was working to fill an order for 120 tins of Christmas cookies.

The order was the largest of the five she worked on that day, but, when two older men came in for the first time, she stopped to greet them with a smile.

“Oh no,” one said. “No pineapple upside down cake?”

“No,” she replied, “but if you want to come back in an hour, I’ll make them.”

And she did.

“I guess we are kind of an on-demand bakery when we have the time for it,” she said. “We don’t want to send any customer somewhere else. We want to be all of our customers’ go-to bakery.”

It’s just one of many things that makes Incredible Edibles unique.

The bakery also sells baking supplies and teaches free baking classes to kids on Saturday afternoons.

“You can come in here and buy filling or butter cream by the pound,” she said. “Whatever it is, if you need it and we use it somewhere in this building, we’ll sell it to you.”

Incredible Edibles is located at 15680 13 Mile Road in Roseville. For more information, call (586) 771-2253 or visit www.incredible ediblewow.weebly.com.

 

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