When it comes to the bakery business there is no question that cupcakes have become one of the hottest commodities. Suddenly there are “cupcake boutiques” springing up everywhere, especially in big cities that serve well-heeled, metropolotian café societies like New York, Chicago and Seattle. We are also seeing more cupcakes being distributed in supermarkets, bakeries and even in ice cream parlors as frozen ice cream cupcakes.
This movement towards smaller cakes started around 2005 in New York when the characters in the series “Sex and the City” started meeting at the Magnolia Bakery on Bleaker Street. This had consumers searching en-masse for a darling little retro cupcake to eat just like the ones Sarah Jessica Parker noshes on in the television series.
The craze for cupcakes inspired the opening of both the Dessert Truck and the Treats Truck which carry the gourmet iced little jewels to eager Manhattanites on the run who need to feed their frantic day with a bit of sugar. However, ground-zero for cupcakes in the country is suggested to be the Limelight Marketplace in the Flatiron District which features several very famous cupcake parlors including Eksters Cakestop, Mari’s New York, The Little Candy Cake Co. and the Butterfly Bakeshop. At these gourmet cupcake boutiques you can expect to pay five dollars for an exotic house specialty.
Many of these cupcake boutiques also feature some wild and exotic flavors. For instance at Eksters Cakestop you can get cupcake flavors such as Egg Nog, Margarita, Green Apple Martini and Mexican Chocolate.
However, if you have been doing the math silently in your head, you have probably figured it out that it would not be that easy to make a living selling cupcakes even at that high price. Most of these businesses also have trucks that take the cupcakes out to other retail destinations such as grocery store bakeries, to catering businesses and to restaurants that might feature the cupcake as a specialty item on their menu.
That is exactly what several of these cupcake entrepreneurs have done and many of them have made millions of dollars since they first opened up shop in the last couple of years.
A good example is Candace Nelsonn a former investment banker, who lost her job and then went on to open Sprinkles in Beverly Hills in 2005. Within the first few days of being open her cupcakes sold out their inventory and she currently sells about 1,000 cupcakes a day.
A more recent success story is Curbside Cupcakes which was launched in the Washington D.C. area in August 2009 and is the brain child of Samuel Whitfield III and Kristi Cunningham. Both left their jobs in the middle of the recession, got a solid business plan and made their dream a reality.
Anyone can open a cupcake business! All it takes is courage, enthusiasm and a business plan to impress the bankers and the investors.