NFL Football Players Bring Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise to Austin, Texas

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.

GiGi's Cupcakes franchise owners

“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.

If you’d like to find out more, visit our research pages or download our free Franchise Information Report.


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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.

Why now is the time to own a Gigis Cupcake franchise

Gigi’s Cupcakes Franchisee Review: Emily Goertemoeller

Owner celebrates first anniversary and says franchise exceeds her wildest expectations


Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise owner Emily Goertemoeller thought she was destined for a “regular” job with “banker’s hours” when she left Florida and a 16-year successful career with Toyota to move back home to Indiana a couple of years ago.

Finding a job as a bank loan officer, though, didn’t happen the way she had anticipated. While Emily wanted an “easy” job, banking executives wanted to make her a branch manager — a position she didn’t want. She put off employment as long as possible until she took the time for soul-searching to discover her true passion: baking.

With a new career in mind, Emily set out to discover how to make money doing what she loved. As she researched bakeries for sale, she saw a Gigi’s Cupcakes food truck in Indianapolis. She was pleasantly surprised to learn Gigi’s Cupcakes was a franchise; she knew their reputation from her time in Florida when clients had given her cupcakes and friends had raved enthusiastically about the product. Her curiosity led her to Internet research and the Gigi’s website.

“I started with Gigi’s story and it made me cry,” Emily says. “I Googled her name and read any interviews and articles I could find. Then, I read every single article on the franchise owners on the website. And I thought, ‘These people are a lot like me and were in similar positions when they started their businesses.” Immediately, Emily felt an emotional connection to the brand, even though she never dreamed of being an entrepreneur or business owner.

Gigi’s Cupcakes bakery franchise ownership is a rewarding career

Emily’s Lafayette, Indiana, Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise, though, is exceeding her wildest expectations, having just celebrated one year in business. The bakery has grown in its inaugural year, bringing more than 100 people into the store for an anniversary celebration. With school back in session, the cupcake customers increased, and Emily added a few new members to her team to manage the uptick in business. “God continues to bless us with a fabulous team of talented and spunky individuals. They all work together and help Gigi’s Lafayette spread love one cupcake at a time here in the bakery and throughout the community.”

For Emily, her Gigi’s Cupcakes business is all about the intangible rewards. She treasures encouraging others and being a blessing. “I have a chalkboard out front. Every morning I write a Bible verse on it and it’s amazing how much positive feedback I get about that chalkboard. So many people will thank me for posting a message that’s uplifting.”

Community service is also important to Emily’s success. She says, “The more I’m in the bakery, the less my bakery will grow. 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.”

And on September 25th, Emily and Gigi’s will host the first Cupcake Run/Walk for Public Education. The event will feature an 8-yard dash, a 5K, and a 10K race with the goal of raising $10,000 for public education in Tippecanoe County. Emily expects more than 500 will participate.

“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 says.

Now is a great time to bring Gigi’s Cupcakes to your community

There has never been a better time to launch a Gigi’s gourmet cupcake bakery franchise. Gigi’s Cupcakes offers a low-cost, low-risk and scalable bakery franchise that features gourmet cupcakes and bakery treats. Topped with our signature icing swirl and backed by more than 300 proprietary recipes and flavors, each Gigi’s cupcake is a work of art.

Our startup costs are low, averaging around $300,000 (including our $35,000 franchise fee), and the typical food and labor costs for a Gigi’s gourmet cupcake bakery are less than those at traditional food franchises. We reported double-digit system sales growth in 2015, and we are poised for expansion with attractive territories available nationwide for single and multi-unit operators.

Learn more about Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise

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.