Rachel Liu Martindale, former engineer turned entrepreneur, is getting ready to open Q Bakehouse and Market early this year. The Asian American bakery, located on the west side of Ann Arbor, will feature a fusion of traditional Asian flavors. 

Martindale’s journey into the world of baking began in her childhood. Inspired by time spent with her grandmother watching Food Network, her passion for baking blossomed, becoming a crucial outlet for the stress of engineering school. Eventually, she began a side business bakery called Milk and Honey

Rachel Liu Martindale, founder of Q Bakehouse and Market

Q Bakehouse and Market Founder Rachel Liu Martindale creates her baked goods out of a temporary kitchen before her bakery opens in 2024. | Photo by One Detroit

After running pop-up events in downtown Ann Arbor, Martindale decided to turn baking into a full-time career, and the journey from Milk and Honey to Q Bakehouse and Market began. The new venture showcases a more extensive range of Asian-inspired pastries and introduces savory options, highlighting Martindale’s Taiwanese and Chinese heritage. 

But opening a retail storefront has come with its challenges, Martindale said. She sat down with One Detroit contributor Chein-An Yuan to talk about what propelled her to quit her corporate job to become an entrepreneur and how she’s navigated the challenges of building her business. Plus, she shares the cultural importance and meaning behind the bakery’s name. 

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