Gigi’s Cupcakes: Bakery and Cupcake Franchise
Gigi’s offers a low-cost, low-risk and scalable bakery franchise that features gourmet cupcakes and bakery treats
Gigi’s Cupcakes has grown from a single store on Broadway near Nashville’s Music Row in 2008 the most sought-after gourmet cupcake and bakery franchise in the country. With franchise locations in 23 states across the U.S., our rapid growth and robust model elevates the business of celebrating life events into a great franchise opportunity with low occupancy and build-out costs.
Cupcakes have been an American mainstay for decades, and Americans’ national obsession with cupcakes went on to spawn the Food Network show Cupcake Wars. Cupcakes are a major part of American culture, and there is unmet demand in communities across the country for a quality provider of gourmet cupcakes and other baked goods.
Topped with our signature swirl and backed by more than 300 proprietary recipes and flavors, a Gigi’s cupcake is a work of art. If you haven’t indulged in one of our cupcakes, you haven’t really had a gourmet cupcake. Our passionate franchisees make people smile, and our cupcakes are the talk of the room at every event.
“I was talking to a couple who eventually opened a successful franchise in Chicago,” says Alan Thompson, Gigi’s CEO from 2009 – 2016, who was also Gigi’s landlord at her first bakery location in Nashville. “The husband was skeptical about cupcakes and asked if they were a fad. Before I could answer, his wife jumped in and said: ‘No, they are not a fad. Cupcakes bring happiness, and anything that makes people happy is never a fad.’”
Our cupcake franchise: A Nashville original
Gigi’s was founded by Gigi Butler, a singer and songwriter who dreamed of becoming a country music star. The original Gigi’s bakery opened in 2008, within walking distance of Nashville’s Music Row district, and is still a bustling location where Gigi can often be found behind the counter greeting customers with her signature Southern charm.
At age 32, a decade after she had arrived in Nashville, Gigi was cleaning houses by day and singing songs in local music venues by night. Her dream of a successful music career was slipping away. She was cleaning a client’s home when her brother called. That call changed her life.
Calling from New York City, he had just stood in line for two hours to buy a red velvet cupcake from a New York Bakery — the cupcake that was made blazingly popular by a now-famous Sex and the City episode. He knew Gigi made amazing cupcakes; she had been baking gourmet cupcakes on the side using her family recipes while applying her own artistic style to the decorating.
She began selling her cupcakes to local businesses, and, with help from her family, she opened her first Gigi’s storefront on Broadway — just steps from Nashville’s legendary Music Row. Alan was so skeptical that a cupcake shop could do well that he asked her to pay three months’ rent in advance. When she opened the doors and began displaying her artistic creations, the line spread out the door and around the corner, exceeding both of their wildest dreams. The Gigi’s cupcake quickly became the talk of Nashville.
Gigi has become the queen of gourmet cupcakes and has been featured on many national TV shows, including CBS’ Undercover Boss. Her celebrity status has helped propel many other entrepreneurs to follow in her footsteps.
Now is a great time to invest in a Gigi’s cupcake and bakery franchise. We have powerful national buying power — which lowers operating costs — and we’ve leveraged the latest technology to help streamline digital and online ordering which enables our franchisees to tap into the lucrative celebration business far beyond the four walls of their franchises. For anyone with a passion for making people smile, Gigi’s is an amazing and affordable franchise opportunity.
Increasing market for gourmet cupcakes
Cupcakes are here to stay. There even is a National Cupcake Day, but for Gigi’s customers, every day is a reason for celebration — with cupcakes.
In today’s fast paced world, people don’t have time to bake from scratch. They still want the celebratory feel that cakes bring, though, and our cupcake and bakery franchise offers the convenience, variety and individual portions that make cupcakes an easy choice.
Gigi’s rotates its menu seasonally, and its signature flavor names are delightfully creative. Although the convenient cupcake is our signature treat, we also offer a diverse menu designed to satisfy a variety of sweet-tooth cravings, such as mini-cupcakes, personal cheesecakes and fresh-baked cookies as well as barista-style coffees and tea in many locations. Gigi, alongside her culinary team of expert bakers and chefs culinary are constantly refining the menu.” Our seasonal favorites, including Pumpkin Latte and S’Mores cupcakes, keep our customers looking forward to season changes and the return of their favorites,” adds Judy Renfrow, Gigi’s CEO, “We even offer gluten-friendly treats, which appeal to the 30 percent of adults that consumer research firm NPD Group says are interested in avoiding or cutting down on gluten in their diets.”
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
Our reported sales are just a fraction of the growth potential of our industry. Several factors boost franchisees’ growth and success rate: company leadership steeped in franchise experience, advanced technology to enhance the customer experience, national and local partnerships, community engagement, proprietary recipes and first-in-class branding. “When people think of celebrations, they think of Gigi’s. Our cupcakes are the best in class, and once you taste them, you are sold for life,” Judy says. “Our team brings over 100 years of franchise and operations experience, and we are building the infrastructure for a true national brand. Just as GiGi originally brought to her cupcakes, creativity, love and passion go into each and every one of our cupcakes.”
Rapid Market Expansion Due To High Demand
Gigi’s Cupcakes Locations in the U.S.
How to become a Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise owner
Gigi’s is an attractive franchise that offers significantly lower food and labor costs than traditional baked-goods franchises. We are poised for continued growth and still have many attractive territories available for single-unit operators, and area developers. We’ve grown from a single location to nearly 100 in less than ten years. How did we attain that?
- A simple, proven business model. The Gigi’s business model provides many off-premise opportunities such as event catering, online ordering, “Sweet Lane” pick-up windows, business-to-business sales, satellite store, pop-ups, kiosks and food truck expansion. Gigi’s has more than 300 proprietary and proven recipes, and our franchisees do not need prior bakery experience. Staffing needs are simple and efficient, with three main components: a baker, a decorator and a customer service representative. Tamala Fowler, Gigi’s President, points out that the business model includes “excellence within the 4 walls, seeking out wholesale business opportunities, and becoming a part of your community.”
- Advanced technology infrastructure. Gigi’s is developing a robust technology infrastructure that includes a fully integrated, e-commerce friendly website, with state-of-the-art online ordering capability, upgraded Apple and Android apps, and point-of-sale system. The new digital delivery option will make it even more convenient for customers to order from Gigi’s inside and outside the store, and enables us to greatly improve our rewards system, increasing repeat sales and customer loyalty.
- Low operating costs. A Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise boasts lower costs than average food businesses of similar size and the typical quick service restaurants. Space buildout costs are typically lower because more expensive features found in restaurants, such as large grease traps and hoods, are generally not required. Additionally, because of Gigi’s national buying power, average food costs are generally less expensive than similar food businesses.
- Training and support from a powerhouse leadership team. Gigi’s leadership has more than 100 years of combined experience of combined experience leading national, multi-unit franchises. Our executive team is building the infrastructure for a true national brand. Our owners go through extensive management training to learn the “Gigi’s way,” and our corporate marketing support ensures owners have the support they need. “We provide our franchisees the Gigi’s blueprint and training that they need to be successful, so they are able to go out and execute in their community, ” says Gigi’s Vice President of Franchise Development Jack Sibley.
- Stellar brand recognition. Gigi’s has built unparalleled brand equity through our founder, Gigi Butler, combined with our focus on customer service, dedication to quality and commitment to the communities in which we operate. Additionally, Gigi’s appearance on Undercover Boss in 2015 helped elevate brand awareness even further. “The Gigi’s signature swirl, beautiful packaging and over-the-top customer service are all part of the Gigi’s Way,” adds Kimberly Turman, Director of Marketing. Social media drives our brand recognition, with fans flocking to our bakery franchises. We want people to think of Gigi’s when they celebrate, and we want them to celebrate when they see the Gigi’s signature box.
Cost and fees of owning a Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise
With an estimated initial investment range from $237,200 – $427,500, including the $35,000 franchise fee, the nation’s fastest-growing bakery franchise offers a low-cost investment with an opportunity for a high return. Franchise owners are required to have at least $150,000 in liquid capital and a net worth of $500,000 to be pre-qualified. All our new locations feature our store design with refrigerated enclosed cabinets, digital menu boards, and updated POS systems. These “refreshed” locations are experiencing explosive success— making now the time to bring Gigi’s signature swirl to your community. We are looking for business owners who want to be a part of a nationwide expansion. The market for gourmet cupcakes is still largely untapped!