If you’ve ever watched Sex and the City, you’re well aware of the infamous bakery that Carrie and Miranda noshed on cupcakes at in season 3, episode 5, "No Ifs, Ands, Or Butts.” (Yes, I’m a fan.) Not only did the show help propel the bakery into national stardom, it also fueled the cupcake craze that continues to this day.
And recently, as Wall Street Journal reported, Magnolia Bakery announced its desire to open as many as 200 franchises across the U.S. over the next five years.
The bakery began in 1996, with a single location in Greenwich Village, but has since expanded to operate stores in New York, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles. It also has an international franchising program, with 17 stores spanning seven countries.
Magnolia Chief Executive Steve Abrams told the WSJ that the company plans to go into nearly 50 of the top markets nationwide, hoping to have at least three locations in each. Abrams noted that Magnolia hasn’t yet set franchise fees or worked out other financial details for potential franchisees—a potential challenge according to experts within the restaurant and franchising world, who suggest that the cupcake craze has long ago hit its peak.
But Abrams stated that Magnolia Bakery is more than just cupcakes. Although cupcakes remain an integral part of the brand’s identity—and make up a third of its sales—its offerings have expanded to include desserts like banana pudding.
“We’re still the big name in that category,” he said. “That’s always going to carry weight.”
Last year, the privately held company’s annual revenue was $45 million, company officials said. Abrams said Magnolia plans to continue opening company-owned stores.
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Will Magnolia's expansion plans push other bakeries to become more innovative within their business plans, and, if so, how will that shape the industry at large? Keep reading Deli Market News for the latest reports.