“When I attended high school at Northeastern (she graduated from there in 1977), there was a Polish bakery on McDougall Street. I would walk by there after school just to smell the aroma of the baked goods. That motivated me to pursue my dream. From that point on I told myself that I was going to run my own bakery.”
Frye fulfilled her childhood dream by purchasing the current location in 1994 and opened for business that same year. She has been patronized for her baked products, which are made from scratch.
“I found this building kind of by accident,” she said. “I was making a delivery for a person and somehow I went the wrong way on Schaffer.
“I crossed Chicago and I saw this building that was for sale. I later inquired about it through an agent, but he told me it was off the market. However, two months later the building was up for sale and I contacted the agent, named my price and bought the building.”
The building was complete and ready to go with everything Frye needed to start a bakery. It had an oven and it’s own kitchen. She said it just needed the ingredients to make baked goods.
“Everything I make at my bakery is from scratch,” she said. “Most places use frozen bakery products. I use all the proper ingredients to make my goods like flour, yeast, baking powder, vanilla extract, etc.”
Frye said the response from the west side community has been positive. The clientele at her bakery have been repeat customers over the 12 years she has been in business.
“Her prices are reasonable and I’m satisfied with the service she gives me,” said Nikki Hall a neighborhood resident. “The bakery is very convenient in the neighborhood so I don’t have to travel far if I want baked goods from doughnuts to cookies.
“Gloria has done all of my children’s birthday cakes over the past six years. Her store has a loving atmosphere and you feel you’re with family. She’s a very sweet and great person.”
Susan Holly, a Detroit sales person, says she has known Frye for many years and appreciates how creative she is when it comes to decorating cakes.
“She’s very talented with the airbrush on the cakes she makes,” Holly said. “She can do anything from Spongebob Squarepants to NBA Basketball. She has decorated cakes for my son’s birthday over the years. Customer service is always positive because she does things in a timely fashion.”
Dr. Gerri McAfee, a Detroit psychiatrist, says Go-Go’s Bake Shoppe takes her back to the days of her childhood with her mother.
“I find the bakery just like my mother’s kitchen when she was living,” McAfee said. “Not only do her baked goods look good, they taste good, too.
“I’ve been buying there since she’s been open. The store isn’t commercial, it’s personal in a positive way because it’s really a family bakery. If you need something at the last minute she takes the time to accommodate you. She’ll even ask you would you like her to bring it to you.”
Go-Go’s Bake Shoppe also bakes cakes and other baked good for cabarets, weddings, funerals, all types of parties and other public functions.
Working with her at the bakery is her daughter, Chiquita, 25. She helps her mother manage the store and fill orders.
“It’s real time-consuming because we work a lot of hours,” she said. “Sometimes we’re late for family functions or events, but the family business comes first. For the most part, we’re not mad because we’re making money. I do enjoy our work because customers are interesting.”
Frye, born and raised on the east side, says her clientele is not restricted to the west side. She has customers from the downtown area and from the east side, especially old friends from her “old stomping grounds.”
“Some of my east side customers are people I knew from my high school days at Northeastern, and neighbors I went to grade school and middle school with.”
For publicity, Frye does some advertising in some church papers and on radio, but word of mouth is her major source. Because of the quality service she gives her customers, they tell their friends. Besides baked goods, Frye also makes deli sandwiches, soups and brownies.
As for the name Go-Go’s, she said it was a nickname given to her by one of her older brothers because as a little girl she moved so fast across the floor. The nickname remained and she decided to use it for her business.
Fryer gives full credit to God for her bakery’s success. She says it was a prophecy given to her by one of her parishioners at church that the Lord would help her get started with pursuing her dream.
“A lady at church told me in April 1984 that the Lord will bless me with a business and it happened in the same month, ten years later,” she said. “There has been some challenges, but we have persevered.”
• Go-Go’s Bake Shoppe
• Owner: Gloria Frye
• Founded: 1994
• Location: 8113 Schaefer, between Joy Road and Tireman, on Detroit’s west side.
• Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m, and Sundays, 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
• Specialty: Unique cultural wedding and exotic cakes. Also has cookies, pies, other pastries, and deli sandwiches. All baked products are made from scratch on the premises.
• Phone: (313) 846-5656
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