Growing franchise operations and product development lead to company’s best year to-date
After eight years of steady growth through tough economic conditions and ever-changing consumer food trends, Smallcakes Cupcakery experienced its best year-to-date in 2016 with $110 million in sales, compared to $60 million in 2015. Since it was launched in 2008, with one shop and 10 cupcake flavors, Smallcakes has grown to be one of the fastest growing franchises in the U.S. with nearly 200 locations. In 2016, new stores were opened in California, Minnesota and New York. Internationally, Smallcakes has stores in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
Today the Smallcakes’ menu has grown to include 250 traditional and modern cupcake flavors and 75 flavors of small-batch ice cream, which are based on the famous cupcake recipes. New combinations, such as cupcake-infused ice cream and the “Infamous Smallcakes Smash” – which marries a cupcake with two scoops of ice cream – helped to drive 2016 sales in normally slower summer months.
“Not in my wildest dreams would I have imagine this many locations and flavors while I was boxing up cupcakes and working all day everyday in our very first location in KS,” said Smallcakes founder Jeff Martin.
Voted one of the Top Cupcake Places to Visit in the U.S. by USA Today and recognized as one of the fastest growing restaurant chains by Restaurant Business magazine, Smallcakes requires a lower royalty percentage, which gives owners a faster return on investment and more money to market and grow their stores. The company also provides franchisees with the flexibility to decorate their own stores and choose specialty flavors for their locations. For customers, Smallcakes offers a casual, relaxed, family-friendly environment where kids of all ages can enjoy a gourmet cupcake.
With the ongoing success of the Smallcakes business model, Martin is looking into starting a few new concepts and possibly acquiring one of his favorites in 2017. “I have always been thinking of adding to the Smallcakes brands and as the food world evolves I will evolve with it with new and fun concepts,” said Martin.
Martin, who also wrote “Buttercream Dreams: Small Cakes, Big Scoops and Sweet Treats,” first appeared on the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars (Seasons 1, 2 and 7). He became famous as the chef who made pumpkin cupcakes but forgot to add the pumpkin. The omission got him booted from competition after the first round. However, he capitalized on the error with popular “I Forgot the Pumpkin” t-shirts and billboards, and landed an appearance on ABC’s The View, in Business Insider magazine and other national media outlets.