Gourmet cupcakes becoming a big, big business

It was March, 2003, Mia Bauer and her husband Jason opened on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the first Crumbs bake shop. Currently, the nation's largest specialty cupcake retailer has 54 locations, including 35 locations in New York Metro area, six locations on the West Coast, five locations in Washington, D.C., one location in Virginia, five locations in Chicago, Illinois and two locations in Boston, Massachusetts. The company also has an e-commerce division that ships cupcakes nationwide.

In October, the NASDAQ Company raised $9.85 million (before expenses) which they intend to use to fund new store growth, and to bolster general working capital in order to strengthen its financial condition.

Julian Geiger, President & CEO of Crumbs, said, "We now have the desired additional capital to fund our new store growth, and to strengthen our financial position. With our capital needs now met, we can execute our real estate strategy of opening up to 25 new in line stores and kiosks in hand picked super regional malls in 2013".

In August, the company entered into an agreement with Starbucks Corporation to bring Starbucks brewed coffees, teas and espresso based drinks to all Crumbs location. This business relationship with Starbucks will make Crumbs the largest national retailer to audiences outside of Starbucks' company-operated retail stores. Starbucks beverage will first be made available to all Crumbs stores in the New York area beginning in September, 2012, and will then be rolled out to all other Crumbs locations.

A few years prior to the opening of Crumbs, Magnolia Bakery opening in the summer of 1996 in the heart of Greenwich Village. In 2007, the original owner decided to pass her oven mitts to a new family. And so, Steve Abrams, a veteran NYC restaurateur and consultant along with his wife and daughter, took over the Bakery. Since then they have expanded from one shop to eight including locations in Bloomingdale's on Lexington Avenue and its outpost in Dubai, Grand Central Terminal , Rockefeller Center, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Perhaps in the near future the new coffee shops entering the metropolitan area will joint venture with other specialty cupcake bakeries.

Los Angles based "The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf" is expanding in Manhattan. In August, 2011, the company opened it first NYC outpost at 1412 Broadway at the corner of West 39th Street. In December, the chain opened a location at 532 Amsterdam Avenue, West 86th Street and Amsterdam, followed by a second location on the Upper West Side at the corner of West 79th Street and Columbus Avenue. In April of this year, their caffeine emporium began serving coffee at 1469 Third Avenue, at the corner of East 83rd Street.This summer the chain opened in the office building at 405 Park Avenue in a location which previously served as a Federal Express Kinko retailer.

Illy coffee is the pride coffee of Italy. Before the end of the year, 2 Beans Coffee and Chocolate is scheduled to open in the base of the office building at 100 Park Avenue.


Posted on November 1, 2012 .