Could this signal the end of cupcake’s reign over New York'’s sweet tooth? For a while, it seemed that large frosted and sprinkled cupcakes were all that dessert lovers could talk about. But now one of the largest cupcake chains, Crumbs, has announced that it will be shutting its doors for good, following a dismal last couple of years in profits, as the rampant popularity of the cupcake waned.
“Regrettably Crumbs has been forced to cease operations and is immediately attending to the dislocation of its devoted employees while it evaluates its limited remaining options,” the company said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.
When asked if Crumbs would consider opening an online store, or creating a line of baking supplies, a Crumbs representative told The Daily Meal, “the company is currently evaluating all options, but we can’t provide anything more specific.”
Many outlets are calling the Crumbs closure sudden, but The Daily Meal reported on the company’s financial woes earlier this year. Crumbs was founded in 2003 and quickly climbed the ladder of sweet success, going public in 2011, which followed a peak stock value in 2011 of $14 a share. At the same time, TV shows like Cupcake Wars were pushing the popularity of these mini gourmet cakes.
“We’re looking to open 200 stores by the end of 2014,” predicted Crumbs founder Jason Bauer in a Newsweek interview in 2011. “I want to be the national neighborhood local bakery.”It wasn’t to be. In 2013, Crumbs began closing store locations across the nation, and earlier this year, the company began to push a line of cake mixes as a last-ditch effort.
So does this mean that we have permanently made the move from moist cake and frosting to fancier creations like cronuts? Magnolia Bakery, one of Crumbs’ competitors, prides itself on being a bakery with new and ever-rotating varieties of treats like ice cream sandwiches and their infamous banana bread pudding. Sprinkles Cupcakes, meanwhile, gained attention this year by installing the first-ever cupcake ATMs at their locations across the country.Both chains have been coming up with ever-innovative ways to stay relevant beyond cupcakes, a trend that seems to have run its course.
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi