Cake Thyme, the bakery at 59 N. Broad Street that has been a staple of downtown Hillsdale since 2011, has closed its Hillsdale store.
Owner Marcia Cole moved with her family to Adrian, Michigan, and operates the business from her new home.
“I am selling the building, but I am still running Cake Thyme,” Cole said. “The perception is that I’m selling the business, selling it all, and quitting — which I’m not. I am still open by appointment and by order.”
Although sales have already suffered since closing the store front, Cole said she’s not too concerned. She said she plans to build the business back up in the future, when she’s less busy settling into a new home and working a teaching job.
“My orders have slowed down,” she said, “but it’s ok for right now. I’m a pretty busy gal, and sometime I’ll work that back up again.”
According to Cole, lack of a store front will lead to unfortunate losses.
“I had a big beautiful kitchen there,” she said. “My kitchen here is nice too — I’ve set up in the basement, and it’s a nice big space. But I think there’s a credibility that comes from having a store front. People stop in because there’s a store front, whereas I don’t have that walk-in accessibility now.”
Leaving Hillsdale will also mean loss of a loyal customer base after years of selling her product at the Hillsdale County Farmers Market, Cole said.
“The Farmers Market was great marketing, because you reached people even outside of Hillsdale,” Cole said.
Though she hasn’t yet found a farmers market in Adrian, Cole plans to take her business to a local market as soon as time permits.
For Hillsdale College junior Margaret Handel, the store’s relocation is a blow. She has been a regular at the store since her parents bought her some Cake Thyme cupcakes freshman year.
“I started going down there every other week or so and just getting a cupcake and hanging out for awhile,” Handel said. “It sold a fairly specialized product, but at the same time it was very unique in what it did. It just did that one thing well enough that I thought she could make it into a bigger business. It’ll be hard to find a place to go that has that same atmosphere in Hillsdale.”