By Edward Cardenas
DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – Lisa Ludwinski has taken her love of baking pies from her kitchen to a storefront in Detroit’s West Village with the help of the Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest.
Ludwinski opened the doors Friday to her bakery near Indian Village with a variety of hand-made, seasonal, locally sourced delicacies made with locally sourced ingredients including salted rosemary shortbread, rhubarb walnut crumble pie and buckwheat chocolate chip cookies.
She began pursuing her dream of opening Sister Pie by baking pies in her parent’s kitchen in Milford before moving into a commercial kitchen and ultimately her new Detroit location.
“It’s just so amazing to have a space where I can not only do baking all the time, which is something that I love, but interacting with the customers who have been supporting us through the whole process,” said Ludwinski. “It’s incredibly rewarding and I am just really excited to see what the future will bring as we grow and continue to become the business of my dreams.”
Located on Kercheval, just north of Van Dyke, Sister Pie is located in walkable neighborhood with tree-lined streets where “people are really committed to making this neighborhood great,” said Ludwinski, who worked at bakeries in Brooklyn before returning home to Michigan.
“It seems like a natural fit for us,” she said of her location.
Additionally, the bakery is located across the street from Parker Street Market, which was one of the early stores to carry Sister Pie products – and sold out the first delivery of pies immediately.
“The ultimate success of Sister Pie is Lisa. The product speaks for itself, it’s phenomenal, but the real selling point is the person behind it,” said David Kirby, co-owner of the market. “You are really eating something wholesome and made by somebody who really cares about their product.”
Sister Pie is the latest Hatch Detroit contest winner to open their doors in the city. Batch Brewing Co. opened earlier this year.
By having the top retail concept and business plan, Sister Pie received a $50,000 cash prize provided by Comerica Bank and a package of services including legal, marketing and advertising, accounting, public relations and IT support from Hatch Detroit and its partners.
By winning the contest, Ludwinski received legal help, accounting services and marketing assistance to help her grow from a specialty bakery to a full-fledged business.
“Now we need people coming in the door every day,” she said. “The exposure we got from Hatch was one of the best parts about it.”
Even those who didn’t win, but had the exposure of being a Hatch Detroit finalist and submitting a business plan, have had success.
2014 semi-finalist Bumbo’s, recently opened in Hamtramck along with Detroit Vegan Soul and Busted in Detroit which are all Hatch alumni who have recently opened for business.
Businesses hoping to be the next small business success story can apply for the fifth year of the Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest. Aspiring businesses can begin apply starting May 1.
All applications must be submitted online at www.hatchdetroit.com, and the deadline for submissions is July 24.