| NEW YORK, July 8
NEW YORK, July 8 Cupcakes still lined the
counter of an empty and unlit Crumbs Bake Shop on 42nd Street in
New York City on Tuesday afternoon, the day after the largest
U.S. cupcake retailer announced it was closing.
Crumbs, which specializes in oversized cupcakes and went
public in 2011, shuttered its nearly 50 locations in 10 states
and the District of Columbia.
Gina Mackey and Raquel Baquero of Queens stopped by the
store after they heard the news that it would be closing.
"I don't do too much cupcake stuff because I don't find them
to be very moist. But this was a moist cupcake and I did enjoy
it, so it's a shame it went out of business," said Mackey. "Had
I known it was going to go out of business, I would have come
and gotten my last Crumbs cupcake."
"And I would have gotten my first," said Baquero, her
"When my friend posted the story they were closing, I was
like, 'Well, I just blew it,'" Baquero said. "I just walked by
to confirm that they were really closed."
The news follows less than two weeks after the NASDAQ
announced it would stop trading Crumbs, which hoped that the
frosted cake made famous by Magnolia Bakery in New York City and
"Sex and the City" could fuel growth at a nationwide chain.
The smaller Magnolia, for its part, brushed its competitor's
closure off, pointing to its diverse pastry offerings compared
with Crumbs' signature dessert.
"It is early, of course, but we have already seen an
increase in customer inquiries on the heels of the
announcement," a representative for the smaller New York bakery
said in an email.
Crumbs had seen a steep decline in profitability since its
debut on the market: In its quarterly report from March, the
company posted an accumulated deficit of $28.8 million.
While the Crumbs bankruptcy was an unusual setback for the
humble dessert which has experienced something of a boom over
the last decade, David Sax, author of The Tastemakers: Why We're
Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up With Fondue, insisted that the
muffin-sized cakes have a bright future.
"This is much more a story about one company's mismanagement
of its product line than it is about the hatred or falling off
of one particular American pastry," he said. "When the housing
market crashed in 2007 or 2008, it wasn't like people stopped
investing in real estate," he added. "The death of Crumbs
doesn't mean the end of every other cupcake bakery."
Outside the Crumbs on 42nd Street, near Times Square,
disappointment was palpable. A pregnancy craving brought Neicy
Robinson of the Bronx to another Crumbs location before she
walked to the Bryant Park store and realized they had all
"I don't know what's going on. I'm so lost," she said. "I
just want some cupcakes!"
(Reporting by Mimi Dwyer; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)