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Gigi’s Cupcakes Franchise Gives Back to Communities

Our corporate culture of giving trickles down to franchise owners who want to make a difference in the lives of others

Most any holiday drives a spike in Gigi’s Cupcakes sales, and Memorial Day was no exception. This year, we wanted to observe the day by recognizing those who have sacrificed for our country.

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Our Gigi’s Corporate stores donated 10% of Thursday and Friday’s Mini Flag Box sales towards Carry the Load Memorial Day March. Carry The Load is a non-profit dedicated to providing active, meaningful ways to honor and celebrate the sacrifices made by our nation’s heroes — military, law enforcement, firefighters and first responders.

“We were honored to donate to such a worthy and meaningful cause,” says Jack Sibley, Vice President of Franchise Development. “We were pleased to recognize the sacrifices of our nation’s heroes throughout our corporately-owned stores. Gigi’s Cupcakes is a company that cares about helping others and using business to impact communities. For entrepreneurs who want to do work that’s both personally and professionally rewarding, they need not look any further than Gigi’s Cupcakes.”

Our culture of caring begins with the greater organization’s commitment to our Corporate Philanthropy partner, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We encourage our franchisees to extend their stores “outside the four walls” and support local groups, clubs and charities.

“A box of Gigi’s cupcakes makes people smile. We have a great product that is as delicious as it is unique and beautiful. And, what many of our franchisees have found is that in being generous with their communities, they receive more than a return on their investment. They also discover a way to be a part of something bigger than themselves,” Jack says.

Franchise owner Emily Goertemoeller of Lafayette, Indiana , came to the realization that to grow her business, it made sense to step up and become a part of the community she serves.

“The more I’m in the bakery, the less my bakery will grow,” Emily says. “Outside of the store, I’m focused on meeting people and building relationships. I go to Purdue men’s basketball games and sell cupcakes. I sponsor kids’ sports teams and take them cupcakes. The more involved I can be in areas of giving back, the more growth I see. To me, it’s all about the relationships. It’s the relationships that matter in the end.”

For Stephanie Easterling, franchise owner in Madison, Wisconsin, her passion for baking and business is second to her monthly charity events. She pairs cupcakes with several causes, including clothing and food drives and collecting for Smile Train, a charity that gives surgeries to needy children with cleft palate issues in third world countries.

“The greatest reward of this business is that I get to sponsor really cool events that help people and make Gigi’s a relevant part of the community,” Stephanie says. “We approach our work by thinking, ‘What can we do to make us part of Madison?’ I feel like whatever we give, we get back tenfold. Seeing the joy on my team members’ faces makes it all worth it.”

Now is the time to give back with your Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise

If you’ve been looking for a business that can be both profitable and purposeful, Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise is the ideal opportunity for you. From our management team and corporately-owned stores to our franchise owners scattered across the country, we are a brand devoted to helping others and making a positive change in our communities.

For in-depth details about the Gigi’s franchise opportunity, download our free franchise report. You can also learn more by visiting our research pages.

Gigi’s Cupcakes shares recipe for growth, success

While 2008 was a year of company closures and bank failures, it was the first taste of success for cupcake entrepreneur Gigi Butler.

Still, it took 14 years for Butler to find the right business recipe. In 1994, she moved from a small desert town located between Los Angeles and Bakersfield, California, to lend her voice as a country singer in Nashville. Only 15 at the time, sang at night and cleaned houses during the day to support herself.

A year and a half before the Recession, Butler decided to hang up her honky-tonk hat and focus on her cleaning business, which she had operated for nearly 20 years. When she decided to try her hand at a bakery, she thought her business experience and good credit would land her the right financing.

As Butler puts it, however, she was laughed out of four banks. With only a little in savings, she took a $100,000 advance from her credit cards and opened the first Gigi’s Cupcakes on Feb. 21, 2008. The shop was located on Music Row, close to the clubs where she used to sing.

Since then, Butler has climbed out of credit card debt and to roughly $40 million in sales in 2016. The cupcake business has also expanded to 96 locations in 24 states, 82 of which are franchised by 62 franchisees.

And this year, the company will tack on another 20 units, hoping to grow by another 35 annually.

“Our goal form a corporate standpoint is to own 20 percent of Gigi’s, with 80 percent franchised,” said Jack Sibley, Gigi’s vice president of franchise development.

Behind the cupcake company’s growth is a partnership with private equity fund KeyCorp. The firm bought Gigi’s in June last year. Its affiliate, Sovrano LLC, owns Mr. Gatti’s Pizza.

It also moved the company’s operations to Fort Worth from Gigi’s original Nashville home.

“They’re a family business, and I’m a family business, so it was a perfect fit for me,” Butler said of KeyCorp’s acquisition. “I wanted (the business) to go into another family business that really cared and would grow it.”

She and Sibley told us more about Gigi’s expansion, including plans for a new restaurant prototype, and how the business stands out among other sweet treats.

What’s behind Gigi’s growth?

Butler: The cupcake craze was what it was a few years ago, but people see Gigi’s as more than cupcakes. It’s also about birthdays and weddings and events. It’s occasions and catering. We do a lot of business-to- business with logos for Mercedes Benz and Dell and UberEATS. People are realizing the cupcake trend has worn a little bit, but it’s still part of people’s lives.

How has KeyCorp helped your growth?

Butler: We have the manpower now, and some money behind us to do more advertising, including live TV shows. When your footprint grows, you have to grow your awareness, so it was necessary (to partner with KeyCorp).

How do you differentiate from other cupcake concepts?

Butler: I went from cleaning toilets to being one of the biggest franchisees of cupcakes in the country in eight years. So there’s the story of the brand.
And there’s also my grandparents’ and family’s recipes that I’ve taken as pies and turned into cupcake form. If you can have a cupcake that’s from a 100-year-old recipe, that’s special.

What does your new store prototype entail?

Sibley: Some of the things we’re incorporating are a new type of casing so there’s a display for customers to see the products. We’re also incorporating an expanded line of baked goods so it’ll be more of a destination, rather than a pick-up.

All new stores will be part of the new prototype. We’re working on (retrofitting) our corporate stores. When lease renewals come up, part of the lease negotiation is remodeling the stores. We’re working on a rolling basis.

What else will be new at Gigi’s this year?

Sibley: We’re rolling out an online ordering capability. We also have the Sweet Lane, which is a pick up lane. There’s a lot of new technology that allows us to go to the customer rather than relying on the customer to come to us.

Article originally written by Korri Kezar, Staff writer for the Dallas Business Journal

Gigi's Cupcakes Franchise

Why Gigi’s Cupcakes Are Here to Stay

Gigi’s Cupcakes bakery franchise shows the gourmet cupcake business is stronger than ever

In the late 2000s, when Gigi Butler was trying to secure a loan to open the first Gigi’s Cupcakes bakery in what would become a successful nationwide franchise, banks would laugh at the idea of a cupcake business. Nearly a decade later with almost 100 locations, steadily growing sales and a goal to open 30 more locations by the end of 2017, Gigi’s Cupcakes has proven that gourmet cupcakes are more than a trend; they’re here to stay.

Despite the so-called “cupcake craze” of the past two decades, cupcakes have been in stores since the mid-1960s, and Americans consume 770 million of the sweet treats each year. As the saying goes, good things come in small packages, and a cupcake’s size makes it an easy and quick indulgence for anytime, making everyday a celebration.

Gigi's Cupcakes Franchise

“Customers love our cupcakes, and they love our people,” says Gigi Butler, founder of Gigi’s Cupcakes bakery franchise. “Our stores offer over-the-top hospitality to all our guests as our franchise owners and their staff lovingly make amazing products to bring joy to others. Often, you can find Gigi’s Cupcakes’ owners working within their communities, touching the lives of those they serve.”

Therein lies the staying power of Gigi’s Cupcakes: a customer-first business model and the personal feel of a community mom-and-pop store. Opened in 2008, Gigi’s Cupcakes quickly became a renowned staple of Music City recognizable by the towering, creamy swirl of frosting that tops each cupcake. Featuring family recipes with an artistic decorative flair, the Gigi’s Cupcakes menu grew to include 300 different cupcake flavors to suit any taste, holiday and occasion.

“Our cupcakes are not just baked goods, but artistic, customized creations that customers won’t find anywhere else, and certainly not with the level of quality and creativity associated with Gigi’s Cupcakes,” Gigi says.

The cupcake craze continues today because people love cupcakes

Gigi's Cupcakes FranchiseThe rise in cupcake popularity rode on the coattails of two consumer trends: recession weariness and affordable indulgence, according to a 2016 article published on TheBalance.com. But instead of dying down, cupcakes’ consumer momentum picked up. As a result, franchises like Gigi’s Cupcakes have become household names while still retaining the personal touch that sets it apart from the typical chain.

Undeniably, cupcakes have grown in popularity over the past two decades. A story by The Washington Post explored the reasons why, which ranged from the relative affordability of the small, indulgent cakes, to the experiential component of a boutique bakery, to the joy and nostalgia people get every time they bite into a dainty, beautifully decorated tiny cake. But while cupcakes have become mainstream, they clearly haven’t lost an ounce of their appeal, as Americans continue to consume millions of them each year. “Among portable, single-serving desserts, cupcakes stand out for their red-carpet glamour and infinite flavor combinations,” The Washington Post wrote.

While other cupcake bakeries have tried and failed to ride the cupcake wave, Gigi’s Cupcakes has prevailed. Though it has franchised into more than 90 shops and kiosks throughout the country with more franchises to open by the end of 2017, each and every franchisee is trained by Gigi’s management team to adopt the overly-hospitable, can-do way of doing business known as the “Gigi’s Way.”

“Business is booming, and, Gigi’s Cupcakes has only gotten stronger,” says Alan Thompson, Vice President of Franchise Development. “Our franchise owners receive initial and ongoing training in how to do things the Gigi’s Way.”

“As long as you’re financially savvy, your Gigi’s Cupcakes business will make a profit,” says Marina Lee, a Gigi’s franchise owner in Raleigh, North Carolina. “People love cupcakes! Cupcakes bring joy to people. I have yet to show up anywhere with cupcakes and have people frown. Every time we crack open a Gigi’s Cupcakes box, people’s eyes pop out and everybody’s delighted.”

Join the cupcake craze with a Gigi’s Cupcakes bakery franchise

You can invest in thriving cupcake industry and become a Gigi’s Cupcakes franchisee for an initial cost of about $300,000. Learn more by visiting our franchise website research pages or request a copy of our free Franchise Information Report.

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Springtime Means Success for Gigi’s Cupcakes Franchisees

Our springtime-themed offerings increase revenue as customers celebrate holidays with gifts and party treats

bakery franchiseFor most people, celebrating the holidays in any season is synonymous with indulging in delicious treats. The new life of springtime brings a calendar full of opportunities for celebrating loved ones. At Gigi’s Cupcakes, we call these “holi-dates” — a reason to drive traffic and sales to our Gigi’s Cupcakes bakeries where we celebrate celebrating!

Springtime means Easter, Passover, teacher appreciation, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and graduation — all occasions when Gigi’s Cupcakes take center stage at dinners, parties and events. This time of year is especially meaningful and lucrative for Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise owners who enjoy helping their customers make special memories, while their businesses see increased traffic and sales.

“From mid-February to Memorial Day, our Gigi’s Cupcakes franchisees see an uptick in business as the warm temperatures bring more people into our stores who are looking for that special addition to their dinner or party,” Mickey Skelton, Director of Franchise Development with Gigi’s Cupcakes, said. “So many of Gigi’s recipes originated with her own family’s holiday celebrations, so it’s no surprise our customers love Gigi’s Cupcakes at the holidays.”

Customers love to celebrate the holidays with Gigi’s Cupcakes

Helping customers celebrate is important for our franchisees, and the holidays lend themselves to the magical traditions that memories are made of.

“I really love everything about my business. I could have never dreamed that I would be able to work at a job that I truly love to go to. I love the guest interaction and giving back to the community. It is such an amazing thing — to bring smiles to people’s faces through something as simple as cupcakes. I’m so honored to be part of people’s memories and traditions,” Emily Goertemoeller, Franchise Owner with Gigi’s Cupcakes, says.

Each season brings a new limited-time menu, featuring flavors, colors and decorations typical of that time of year. Our holiday-themed mini cupcake boxes are bestsellers among customers and feature favorite symbols of the season and icons for the occasion. This spring you’re likely to see bright flowers, confetti, butterflies, graduation caps, diplomas and wise old owls on our over-the-top signature Gigi’s swirl of frosting.

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Our holiday offerings have the same great artistry and taste as those treats we offer all year long. At Gigi’s Cupcakes, our creative marketing department works with franchise locations to promote our holiday treats. We support franchisees with marketing materials for their local market, and our revamped consumer website makes it easier than ever for customers to order their favorite Gigi’s treats to celebrate Mom, Dad, teacher or graduate.

Learn more about Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise

Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise owners find their businesses are busy year-round. The calendar is always filled with new “holi-dates” ready for celebrating as the seasons change. Because we are in the celebration business, Gigi’s Cupcakes desserts are always in demand.

Now is a great time to launch a Gigi’s gourmet cupcake bakery franchise. Gigi’s Cupcakes offers a low-cost, lower risk and scalable bakery franchise that features gourmet cupcakes and bakery treats. Our startup costs average around $300,000 and the typical food and labor costs for a Gigi’s gourmet cupcake bakery are less than those at traditional food franchises.

For in-depth details about the Gigi’s franchise opportunity, download our free franchise report. You can also learn more by visiting our research pages.