MILAN, MI — Freshly baked cookies, pies and tarts line the shelves at Life is Sweet Bakery & Café, just waiting for customers to order them.
This Milan bakery and cafe opened in 2019. Managing director Keith Billie said the company specializes in custom desserts and makes everything from scratch except its cannoli shells.
As customers walked through the doors, Billie said he heard them talking about how they had never seen a place like Life is Sweet.
“We like to make it feel like home, and make people feel comfortable (and) know they’re coming here to get quality,” he said. “People also eat with their eyes, which is why we not only want (our desserts) to taste delicious, but we also want them to look good.”
Billie said Margaret Prince, her mother-in-law and owner of Life is Sweet Bakery & Café, was behind everything customers see, whether it’s bakery recipes, store layouts or even the color of the walls.
Billie and Prince decided to open Life is Sweet Bakery & Café because Prince’s famous “brookies” were a hit at craft shows and farmers’ markets. The deep cookies were selling out so quickly that Prince was looking for a commercial kitchen, Billie said, and from there the business grew into what it is today.
“We still get people who met us at those early craft shows following us from all over Michigan and beyond,” Billie said. “It’s through word of mouth that we have succeeded, and we are very humbled and blessed that the community has supported us as much as they have.”
Don’t have a sweet tooth? Well, Life is Sweet Bakery & Café also offers savory options including sandwiches, calzones, quiches and more. Billie said a popular item the bakery has every day is its pepperoni pretzel rolls, which were one of the first items on the shop’s menu.
Another favorite item on the savory menu is the bakery’s Italian sandwich consisting of freshly baked focaccia bread with olive oil and Italian seasonings, ham, salami, pepperoni, lettuce, tomato, onion, mozzarella cheese and a fresh creamy Italian dressing.
“I think we use quality ingredients and have quality recipes that people really enjoy and expect when they come here,” Billie said.
On the coffee side, the company uses Coffee Express Roasting Company of Plymouth for its coffee. Billie added that the cafe also makes frozen coffee drinks, smoothies and different shakes.
Although the company does not have a gluten-free kitchen, Billie said the menu includes a few wheat flour-free dishes, including her rice pudding, coconut macaroons and chocolate flourless pecan cookies. black.
Tucked to the right of the bakery and cafe is a sign that reads “The Pantry”. In this room, customers can find all kinds of items, including ingredients for charcuterie boards, coffee, tea, crackers made from Life is Sweet Bakery & Café and more.
The space was previously used for seating until the COVID-19 pandemic, but now offers customers the chance to browse all kinds of items like mugs, home decor, and other products.
This section showcases items from various local vendors and gives customers the opportunity to do a wine tasting with Modern Craft Wine. Billie said anyone interested can either call ahead to do a wine tasting or come by to arrange something.
Milan’s overall support and kind words from customers are what are “worth it” in the end, Billie said.
“We make so many different people happy every day,” he said. “We didn’t expect to be as busy and popular (as we are and) one of my favorite things is that we bring joy and happiness to the community and beyond.”
Life is Sweet Bakery & Cafe, 42 E. Main St. in Milan, is open from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Find the bakery and the café on social media or by phone at 734-628-7185.
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