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Posted on Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 12:46 p.m.

Great Day Gourmet Brownies to open in Ypsilanti

By Katrease Stafford


Great Day Gourmet Brownies will be the latest business to open on Cross Street in Ypsilanti.

Daniel Brenner |

A new Ypsilanti business, Great Day Gourmet Brownies, is slated to open in February after its opening date was pushed back several times.

Owner J. Doyle said the brownie shop, 301 W. Cross St. will open in February, but he has not set a specific opening date.

"We took over that building in September a year ago and put a bunch of money and time and energy in there," Doyle said. "We were getting ready to open Nov. 22 and we had a power surge the day before opening that fried all of our equipment."

Doyle said he put a claim in with DTE Energy to recoup some of the loss, but the process took months before he was able to move forward with the opening since he had to purchase all new appliances.

Doyle is a chef and has been in the restaurant business for years. He and his wife moved to the Ypsilanti area from Florida shortly after the economic downturn.

"It's a nice little niche market," Doyle said. "I was going to open a kiosk in the mall, but I wanted everything to be fresh. I didn't want to do another restaurant either. I love Ypsilanti and it's one of the best towns I've seen."


The owners had to purchase all new appliances for the shop.

Daniel Brenner |

Doyle developed multiple recipes and decided to open a store after receiving inquiries about the brownies.

"I get probably 50 calls a week yelling to open that store," Doyle said. "My brownies are outrageous and we make about 20 flavors of brownies and 20 frostings."

Ypsilanti business owner Mike Eller purchased the building for $139,900 in 2001. The building's assessed value is $39,000. Toarmina's Pizza was previously housed at the location.

Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority Director Tim Colbeck said the location has been vacant for the past two and half years. Years ago, the building served as one of the original Domino's Pizza locations, he added.

Doyle and his wife will run the business together. They have hired someone to do the bulk of the baking for them, as well as a manager.

"... It's amazing to me that there's so much opportunity here," Doyle said. "Ypsilanti is a place that's sort of a sleeping opportunity."

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.



Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 2:42 a.m.

what happened to toarmina's?


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 6:30 p.m.

I like that they've spruced up the outside of the building quite a bit. It looks much better than it did. Wishing them lots of success!!

Julie Baker

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 4:34 p.m.

I've been wondering when this place would open. Thanks for the update! Best of luck to the owners.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 3:34 p.m.

Best of luck. I plan on trying you as soon as you open.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 12:43 p.m.

I'll give them a year to work out the kinks and then visit them for a brownie.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 12:10 p.m.

I look forward to getting coffee from the Ugly Mug and walking down the block for a gourmet brownie.

Fresh Start

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 3:37 a.m.

Why doesn't Domino's buy their original store and operate out of that location? I like brownies don't get me wrong but what a great story if Domino's returned to their birthplace at EMU and Ypsilanti.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

Because sentimentality and good business decisions don't mix. There is a Domino's franchise right by the water tower with better visibility and access to traffic flowing in both directions as opposed to a one way street.

James Staley

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 1:05 a.m.

In Ypsilanti, it seems like any new business does well when they have a good location and being so close to Eastern Michigan, I am sure the students will be good customers for the Gourment Brownies and some of the near by residents that like to go for a walk will come by also, I am looking forward to visiting your store when I hear that it is open, I like a good Brownie once in a while. Good luck with your new business and I hope that you do well like Tom M did with his Pizza business maybe it will bring you good luck like it did for Tom.

Katrease Stafford

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 6:47 p.m.

Good point, James. When I was still at EMU, I knew several students that would walk to Dom's Bakery in search of a sweet treat for a late night cram session at the library! With this being closer to campus, it will be interesting to see how much of the customer base will be comprised of students.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 9:58 p.m.

Best of luck to them!

dading dont delete me bro

Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 7:55 p.m.

one of the original? it WAS the original dominos location.

Jessica Webster

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 2:31 a.m.

A friend used to work there when it was a Cottage Inn location. He told me that the legend was that Tom M. pretty much lived in that store, sleeping behind the counter during off hours.

dading dont delete me bro

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 1:10 a.m.

i've heard stories of monahan coming into abbey's market and buying a little of this and a little of that. as the night went on, he would come back and buy more of the same...

Kyle Mattson

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 12:09 a.m.

You are correct dading, but now I'm wondering how amazing it would be to have warm brownies delivered to my front door in 30-minutes or less!


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 7:44 p.m.

$39,000 to much.