New Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise to open by first of the year
When our newest Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise owners first met in college, they weren’t thinking their friendship would take them from the football field to a bakery kitchen. That’s exactly what’s happened, though, for NFL football players Brian Orakpo (now with the Tennessee Titans), Michael Griffin (now a free agent, formerly with the Titans and the Carolina Panthers) and their good friend and business partner, Bryan Hynson.
After playing the sport for a decade, Brian and Michael began talking about the next chapter of their careers with Bryan. That’s when the idea of owning a cupcake bakery first came to mind.
“We were all talking about life after football and talked about starting a business,” recalls Michael. “The one thing that me and Brian Orakpo both knew, being in the Nashville, Tennessee, area playing for the Tennessee Titans, was Gigi’s Cupcakes. That was something that we felt was not too big and risky, but it was franchise, and we just pretty much know that all kids love cupcakes. It’s something we felt like was a small risk with a high reward.”
Bryan Henson notes that opening a Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise in Austin makes good business sense for the partners. “As we looked through the FDD early on in the process, we just saw a fairly quick return on investment. There was also a pretty good spread with the angle margins on the net profit. That was really attractive to us.”
Life after football — Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise ownership
“When I first came onto the scene in 2015, the first thing I was introduced to in Nashville was a dozen of Gigi’s Cupcakes,” says Brian Orakpo. “I had never heard of them before, but once the teammates gave me some, I mean, I fell in love. So Michael Griffin knew all about it, we always were thinking outside of the box, not just playing on the field. We had the same mindset and Bryan Hynson and Griffin and myself — we always wanted to do something in Austin when our football careers were all said and done. We thought Gigi’s was a perfect fit for us.”
Most people don’t automatically think of beautiful, dainty cupcakes and big, tough football players together, but these three embrace the trail they are blazing as franchise owners. “Massive football players that are warriors out there on the football field, and now they are all of sudden making cupcakes? I mean, you don’t really see those two dynamics go hand-in-hand. So we believe it’s cool to break the mold and challenge the stigma that football players don’t do baking,” says Brian Orakpo.
Even though their Grand Opening is still a few months away (the trio hopes to open for business by the first of the year with a Grand Opening celebration to follow soon thereafter), Bryan, Brian and Michael have huge plans for their business. They are excited about bringing Gigi’s Cupcakes to their fans at The University of Texas and in the NFL.
Brian Orokpo says, “This brand is very unique, more so than any other. We’ve got the NFL shield and The University of Texas behind our back. One thing about Austin is the people are very big on their football, and with our NFL connection, it’s going to bring in all kinds of opportunities. Every time I dream about it I feel like this thing is just going to grow, and grow, and grow. We plan on making it as big as possible. We want to basically take control of the whole Austin community — we want to make sure the whole city understands that Gigi’s is here and is willing to provide for all over the city. I know we are going to exceed expectations.”
Learn more about franchising with Gigi’s Cupcakes
Gigi’s Cupcakes is focused on bringing our delicious, gourmet cupcakes to more customers across the country. We are looking to recruit entrepreneurs who have a passion for business ownership and community service. Our goal is to open as many as 20 new locations by the end of 2017.