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Posted on Fri, Apr 13, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Ann Arbor bakery Sweet Heather Anne expands into 'charming' space on North Main Street

By Lizzy Alfs

Sweet Heather Anne, a bakery owned by a University of Michigan School of Art and Design alumna, recently signed a lease for a permanent location: 920 N. Main St. in Ann Arbor, just north of downtown.

Owner Heather Anne Leavitt, cake artist Claudia Kimble and business manager Rachel Brandell are just wrapping up the finishing touches on their new space and plan to host an open house on April 21.


A portion of the new Sweet Heather Anne space at 920 N. Main St.

Angela Cesere |

Since 2010, the bakery has been operating out of a rented kitchen at 359 Metty Drive in Ann Arbor in a shared building with Katherine’s Catering.

That space, Leavitt said, was only temporary so the company could find its footing and gain experience in the industry.

As Leavitt began looking for a more permanent location, she stumbled across a 1,400-square-foot space at 920 N. Main, owned by Peter Allen & Associates — a building that previously housed an architecture firm.

“We just fell in love with the space.” she said. “It’s really close to the highway — which is good for our delivery business — it has parking, it’s close to the (Huron River) and it’s just really charming with the ivy.”

She added: “It’s much more creative here, rather than being in an industrial space with no windows.”

With the move, Sweet Heather Anne will delve into the pickup order business, with a dessert counter open on Fridays and Saturdays. The counter will have small items for sale, such as layered cakes in a jar, cookies and brownies.

The other half of the business is focused on custom orders made with locally sourced ingredients, with a focus on weddings and other events. Sweet Heather Anne also takes corporate orders and teaches decorating classes during the winter.

Brandell emphasized: “The focus is really on quality, rather than volume. Our goal would be to take on more complicated and intricate orders and be a leader in the industry, versus doing a large volume of cake orders.”

To help with renovations at the Main Street space, Sweet Heather Anne launched a campaign on Kickstarter, a crowdfunding website, and raised more than $8,000 to install a commercial kitchen in the space.

They also installed new floors, separated the kitchen from the front space, painted and made other minor renovations.

Sweet Heather Anne is open mostly by appointment, but visitors are always welcome to stop in, Leavitt said. It also will be open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays for the dessert counter business.

The open house is from 12 to 5 p.m. April 21, and there will be free treats and items for sale.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at


Andrew R. Gorsuch

Fri, Apr 13, 2012 : 3:10 p.m.

A great local business success story!


Fri, Apr 13, 2012 : 1:27 p.m.

In the building where Robey Tire used to be, on the east side of Main Street?


Fri, Apr 13, 2012 : 12:47 p.m.

Sweet! Literally and figuratively, it's right in my back yard. :)

Vivienne Armentrout

Fri, Apr 13, 2012 : 12:41 p.m.

These reports of new businesses would be much improved with a link to a map. But I gather Google has begun charging for such links? At a minimum, a better description of the location would be desirable. This is said to be "just north of downtown", but I find that it is north of Depot Street. In other words, it is in the North Main area between Depot Street and the entrance to US 23, which in the past was mostly industrial but is slowly becoming a retail and office area. Best wishes to the owners.

Julie Baker

Fri, Apr 13, 2012 : 3:16 p.m.

Thanks for the feedback. We've added a link to the Google map.

Rob Pollard

Fri, Apr 13, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

justcurious, of course it is not "hard to do" but it would be nice if you didn't need to do it. If you're printing/posting a story, it helps with the "where" part if a reader can literally in a second look at an already available map and say, "Oh, that's located on the crossroads of blah and blah" instead of having to take the extra few steps to a) locate the address in the story, b) make sure what you copied is in the correct format for the map website c) open a tab for mapquest or google maps, d) paste it and in and hit Go. Those steps aren't remotely rocket science, but they shouldn't be necessary. The readers are your customers - improve the customer experience.


Fri, Apr 13, 2012 : 1:15 p.m.

Anyone can google the address and actually see the building. Not hard to do.

Mike Folk

Fri, Apr 13, 2012 : 12:32 p.m.

I ran by this place yesterday and had to stop at the window. The cakes look beautiful and it's great to see another small business doing well in Ann Arbor. My best wishes to you ladies and now I need to find a reason to get a cake.


Fri, Apr 13, 2012 : 12:25 p.m.

It's wonderful to see that these women are creating such beautiful traditional and creative cakes. Their workmanship looks perfect. Recent reality shows featuring bakeries had me wondering if true craftsmanship was gone, but obviously not, judging by their wonderful work. I wish them all the best.


Fri, Apr 13, 2012 : 12:02 p.m.

The cakes look beautiful, and the store-front very inviting. Focus on quality, and I'm sure your business will thrive at that location. Looking forward to a Friday/Saturday visit when you're open. Best of luck to all three of you!