Pam Turkin, Founder, Just Baked

Pam TurkinFinalist, Consumer Products

Even the most daring entrepreneurs wouldn’t consider the midst of a recession to be the best time to start a business, especially one in which they had no experience while using their entire retirement fund to do so. But that’s just what Pam Turkin did in 2009 when she launched Just Baked, a Livonia, Mich.-based cupcake bakery.

Without experience in the culinary arts, Turkin began learning everything there was to know about the baked goods industry by researching existing companies, studying numerous recipe books and reading Internet blogs. She spent her weekends trying out cupcake recipes, and a year later, she opened her first bakery selling wholesale to local stores. After selling excess cupcakes from an order to the public resulted in a high return, Turkin quit her job in marketing and dived into the bakery full time, selling to the public.

Just Baked has since grown into a 12-store chain throughout metro Detroit. The company has investment to expand the franchise nationally and into approximately 10,000 grocery stores, already selling to The Kroger Co., Meijer Inc. and within Detroit Metro Airport.

Despite its rapid growth, Turkin has maintained a high level of personal involvement in her company. She often places orders, personally delivers cupcakes and even makes an effort to work a full day in the bakery so that she is familiar with both her product and her employees.

All of Just Baked’s cupcakes are made fresh daily using the highest-grade ingredients, with time put into presentation. The company offers more than 50 different flavors of gourmet “jumbo” cupcakes, as well as “mini” cupcakes, homemade brownies, cookies, scones, granola, decorated layer cakes and more.

HOW TO REACH: Just Baked,