Pam Turkin

Founder of Livonia-based Just Baked Cupcakes. Turkin opened her first Just Baked specialty cupcake shop and bakery in 2009. Today, the company has seven bakeries located throughout Metro Detroit and offers more than 60 flavors of gourmet, jumbo cupcakes. Just Baked also offers homemade brownies, cookies, "munchie mix," and will soon introduce its new frozen yogurt concept, "Just Swirled." The company recently entered into an agreement with Garden Fresh Gourmet for a national franchise expansion of Just Baked Cupcakes stores across the country, along with the creation of a wholesale retail program in approximately 10,000 grocery stores during the next two years. Just Baked also received additional capital and resources from an investment team comprised of Garden Fresh Gourmet executives. Under Turkin's leadership, Just Baked recently leased a new 16,000-square-foot production plant in Livonia. In 2010, Just Baked produced more than 850,000 cupcakes at its Livonia bakery, and the new plant will increase production by 200 percent. The company has about 50 employees and is adding another 20. Before establishing Just Baked, Turkin spent several years in marketing and merchandising, including work with major retailers such as Target and Meijer, to launch licensed brands throughout the country. When she noticed the emerging cupcake trend, Turkin researched cupcake bakeries, tested recipes in her kitchen every weekend for a year and enlisted her kids' friends to taste-test the recipes.

WHERE BORN: “Detroit.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “My mother, Adele Rosen. She has shown me that you can be driven but still be kind. She has a strength that comes from within. She always believed in me regardless of what others said. Also recently, Dave Zilko of Garden Fresh Gourmet. Dave has taught me to think bigger.”

LAST BOOK READ: “I'm in the middle of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand; it may take a while. I'm also reading the Steve Jobs biography.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Tenacious, fun, driven, creative.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “The cupcake business is just hitting its stride. It is expected to grow by double digits for the next five years. I believe bakeries are always going to be in the forefront of the food industry. There are always celebrations, and with those there is always going to be cake.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “My iPad. I love to use it in the kitchen to follow recipes.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “New York City. It's always a different landscape from block to block. There are so many unique restaurants -- I love the food scene.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “Cooking and baking, of course.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “Popcorn and potato chips; I love salt.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “I have great intuition. I use it all the time. I think it's my best asset.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “I would like to be remembered as someone who cared deeply about my family, employees, and the city I love.”