Katie Robinson is an artist. Her blank canvas begins with cake and with her chosen mediums of fondant, frosting and piping, she creates a visual masterpiece for the eyes and a treat for the taste buds. As the owner of Botanical Bakeshop in Milan, Robinson specializes in vegan cakes and pastries that delight the senses.
“I fell into baking professionally after graduating from art school,” she said. “I studied baking at Washtenaw Community College after attending art school in Pittsburgh and Detroit. I found that my attention to detail and creativity lent well to baking and pastry.”
Robinson started the business in the summer of 2021, making cakes and cookies and pastries from her bakery in downtown Milan. Her focus was to create desserts that are rooted in tradition but with a vegan twist.
“I made the choice to become vegan to advocate for a compassionate world. I also get the health and environmental benefits on top of that, so it just makes sense for me,” she said.
The bakeshop specializes in custom cakes for all occasions. The cakes can incorporate fresh flowers or themes, and come in a variety of flavors as well as sizes.
Robinson also offers monthly pastry boxes with offerings from the season. Customers can also order holiday treats like pumpkin pies and cookies from the bakeshop website.
Her advice to other mompreneurs is to not become overwhelmed.
“Sometimes, it seems like too much because it’s just not the right time. But that doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen,” she said.
As a wife and mother of three, Robinson is careful to find a balance between working hours and family time. She would like to grow the business one day when the time is right.
“I think a lot about opening up regular retail hours or expanding, but I also know what a strain that would put on my already strained time. It’s something I’d like to focus on when my kids are a bit older. There’s no rush. Things will happen when they are supposed to,” she said.
Getting to know Katie Robinson:
Tell us about your family!
It’s me, my husband, Luke, and our three kids: Miles(10), June(7), and Drew (3).
Where did you go to school?
I grew up in Rockford, Michigan, but moved to Pittsburgh to attend college at the art institute there. I then came back to Michigan and attended Wayne State University and Washtenaw Community College.
Favorite local restaurant?
What do you like to do on a day off?
As little as possible. Hang around the house, play in the driveway with the kids, or hit some local trails for a good old walk in the woods.
Knitting, reading cookbooks
Are you a book person or a movie person?
Favorite season in Michigan?
I’m a cusper, that season right when summer is ending and fall is starting its magic.
When you bake for your family, what do they request the most?
Everyone loves croissants!