Hotel Owner and His Family Bring Gigi’s to the Western U.S.
For experienced businessman Matt Weston, becoming a new franchise owner with Gigi’s Cupcakes made perfect sense. In fact, he was ready to sign on long before he’d even tasted his first Gigi’s cupcake. From a business perspective, Gigi’s concept, reputation and fee structure was impressive enough to motivate the hotel owner to add a Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise to his portfolio.
“Once I had that first cupcake, after everything else I’d seen, I knew it was what we needed to do,” says Matt. “I’ve been with Choice Hotels International and I’ve been with Wyndham Worldwide, and I’ve also been with Hilton and Hampton Inn. I’ve been through the franchise agreements with hotel properties, so I was familiar with it. I was looking into the fee structure and meeting the people who are in charge of Gigi’s and was impressed with how everything was laid out and given to me. It felt very organized.”
Matt and Launa Weston bring Gigi’s Cupcakes to Logan, Utah
Matt and his wife, Launa, were highschool sweethearts, having grown up together in Logan, Utah, where they still live today. The youngest of 13 children, Matt learned a solid work ethic early on from his father, helping out on the family farm. Once his father and brothers bought their first hotel, Matt quickly followed suit.
Almost two years ago, Matt and Launa bought a piece of land where they planned to build a hotel. On it, sat a vacant former Golden Corral restaurant. Even though they leased it for about six months, the new tenant eventually closed his doors. At that point, Matt didn’t want the building to sit empty, but he wasn’t really sure what to put in its place, either.
This was the first step in his finding Gigi’s Cupcakes. “I ended up searching the web for franchises. I wanted to go into franchising if I was going to do this, because I know the benefits of franchising and the support it can bring you and give you — the opportunities to start off running from the beginning if it’s the right fit for you, and the franchise is well organized. So I ended up looking for a franchise to put in there,” Matt recalls.
He decided to explore pizza opportunities and eventually found Gatti’s Pizza, which is owned by the same company that owns Gigi’s Cupcakes. Matt decided against Gatti’s and gave Gigi’s a quick glance-over but also dismissed it right away.
That initial online search, though, planted seeds that Matt and Launa couldn’t shake. He remembered that he enjoyed baking, and she would bring cupcakes home from a local shop as a special treat. Suddenly, running a cupcake bakery didn’t seem that odd, and Matt and Launa discussed the possibility of working a family business with their two grown daughters (of their seven children).
“Even though my search for a franchise was really for a restaurant to go into that empty facility, I decided that I’d have enough support of my family if we wanted to go through and do a Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise. We’ve decided that the location is going to be key to our success, so we’ve searched for a different location — the restaurant’s still there empty — because we want to be in the right place so that people can find us,” says Matt.
The Weston family hopes to be open around the first of the year and looks forward to the busy Valentine’s Day season that all our Gigi’s Cupcakes franchisees experience. Their ideal location will help ensure that they’ll have a steady stream of excited Gigi’s fans when their doors open. “We plan to be in a little strip area of three stores, in a location that’s about 1,400 square feet. It’s right next to a Walgreens, on a very busy intersection here in the town, about a mile away from Utah State University,” says Matt.
The Westons look forward to being cupcake pioneers to the West
Matt and Launa are excited that this will be a family business — an opportunity to leave a legacy while teaching their kids about the benefits of hard work. Matt says, “I really wanted to start something I could involve the whole family in and help them get started from a ground level and teach them. I wanted to give them the opportunity to be an entrepreneur if they want to be an entrepreneur and operate their own business.”
They have great expectations for their Gigi’s Cupcakes bakery. With little to no competition in their area, they anticipate success for their business and plan to grow quickly: “Within 18 months we have a goal of opening our second store, but I really have my sights set on three stores. That’s what I want to get to. If I get beyond that, wonderful, but maintaining three stores is really where I want to be. My family being involved with it will be key in making that work,” says Matt.
“We believe we can make an impact for the whole Gigi’s brand and make it successful in our area. We’re both excited to be a part of it — to be able to open a store and be the face of Gigi’s here in Utah,” adds Launa.
Bring Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise to your area
We have plenty of open territories for development nationwide. If you’d like to introduce Gigi’s Cupcakes to your area and be a pioneer in your part of the country, we want to talk with you.
You can learn more by visiting our research pages, or request a copy of our free Franchise Information Report.