Enchanted Oven Continues in Saline while Opening a New Cafe elsewhere
As it opens a new café north of Ann Arbor and continues to look for a new home in Saline, Enchanted Oven is still one of the great go-to baking options in the area.
From cakes, cookies, pies, cheesecakes, and frozen ready-to-bake items such as biscuits, Enchanted Oven has called Saline home for years, but at this time it doesn’t have a storefront in town. However, they do have a new location opening out of town, and they haven't left Saline, they are still serving the community while at the same time looking for a new storefront to do what they do best.
The Sun Times News (STN) connected with owner Amber Wardia to get an update about what's happening at Enchanted Oven.
“We are still servicing Saline without a store front, thanks to the kindness of the folks at St. Paul's Church, who have allowed our customers to pick up orders there until we find a permanent solution,” said Wardia. “We are in our sixth year of business in Saline and would love to be able to stay, depending on what space we can find to suit our needs.”
In the meantime they’ve been focusing on a new café, which is expected to open in late January or early February. It’s their Ann Arbor Café and it’s at 5241 N. Territorial Road.
“The long term plan is to find a new location to serve our customer base in Saline as well, which has been difficult due to the lack of available restaurant space in the area,” Wardia said. “We are constantly looking at options and have considered moving to Pittsfield, where there is a little bit more available. We are hesitant to open anywhere that doesn't have easy access to parking, as that was previously a major problem for us being on Ann Arbor Street.”
She said they “also need a space that's centrally located to our employees and big enough for us to produce for multiple locations, as we are adding bread, and expanding our menu.”
“The decorators need ample space to work on the cakes and sugar pieces, roll out hundreds of sugar cookies and doughs, and store supplies. We are looking for a needle in a haystack!” says Wardia.
The other issue, she said, is funding has been non-existent.
“The cafe is self-funded and cost most of what we had saved up,” Wardia said. “The lack of a store front has cost us a ton of revenue, and the banks like to see proof of revenue in order to fund any loans. We were rejected by four lending institutions due to loss of revenue which was beyond our control due to the circumstances of losing the store front in Saline. Thankfully, we were awarded an amazing grant from Comcast Rise, who recognized our hard work and contributions to the community, and that has helped a lot with morale.”
In describing Enchanted Oven, Wardia said they rely heavily on custom orders for special events like weddings, anniversaries, retirements, etc. They also take small orders for birthdays and other occasions. The menu includes cakes, cookies, pies, cheesecakes, and frozen ready-to-bake items, such as biscuits. They fundraise often throughout the year for Saline schools, other schools in the area, and charities, including a yearly meal donation to the food pantry at Thanksgiving.
Looking ahead, STN asked Wardia if there was anything in particular she thought the community should know.
“My employees are the best, and I work hard every day to find them a new ‘home’ so that they can keep learning and honing their pastry skills in an environment conducive to happiness and growth,” Wardia said. “They deserve to enjoy their workplace, as they are very hard workers and just great people.”
She said they "all appreciate the support of our customers in and around Saline and their eagerness to help us get through this difficult period for our business and employees."