Connecting to community with Grand Finale Desserts and Pastries

By Staff Analysts

Aug. 8, 2020

Justin Raha of Grand Finale Desserts and Pastries knows exactly why his business has been so successful.

Starting out as a baker’s apprentice with a passion for pastry, Raha eventually founded Grand Finale, starting out with a focus on wedding cakes and chocolate. He diversified to include more types of baked goods and pastries. Now, the small business employs five people and enjoys a good reputation among the local community of Grand Haven, Michigan. 

Locals supporting local

“We use Michigan blueberries, Michigan strawberries, Michigan raspberries. We use dried fruit and we try to use Michigan sugar, and we get Michigan eggs, and so everything that we’re getting we’re trying to get as local as possible.” These ingredients are what makes Grand FInale’s treats so special, Raha said. The result? Quality products at affordable prices, with the added bonus of supporting other local businesses in the area. 

Raha’s commitment to using local ingredients and participating in community events has solidified Grand Finale’s charm — they aren’t just another bakery in the area, but a recognizable name in the neighborhood.

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“We give back to the community a lot which is really big. We have a really strong local community that is all about growth and support of each other and different tasks, fundraisers, organizations, and groups,” Raha said. “And so any opportunity we can to help out more for our community we try to do that, which has gotten really substantial in kick back toward our business because people see that we give back to the community and donate to them. Because of that they tend to want to come to us.” 

Smoother payroll with time clock software

Raha found through the mobile app store and thought to try it out. After trying a few other apps, he found the most user-friendly and affordable for Grand Finale’s needs, especially the notification aspect that allows requests to come in through email. Now, the small business has been using’s time clock software for over a year, as well as the employee scheduling features to keep track of operations.

While employee schedules are consistent, what the time clock software has done for them is make shift durations much easier to track. With all the data about when employees clock in and out, calculating wages is faster — Raha just sends the timesheets over to his accountant, and a process that used to take an hour now lasts 15 minutes. 

Sweet gestures

Whether it’s the local farmers’ market, events supporting mental health programs or environmental fundraisers, Grand Finale Desserts and Pastries is there to lift the spirits of anyone who tries their baked treats. Building trust between small business owners and customers over time, through authenticity and visible effort are the key ingredients to the bakery’s success.  

“They know we’re good,” Raha said. “They know that their money is going to stay local and get back into the community.” 

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