Meet Gigi’s Cupcakes President Tamala Fowler

Restaurant-industry veteran takes the helm of fast-growing brand and lays out ambitious plan that includes expanding to 1,000+ locations

Tamala Fowler knows how to grow restaurants. Her long and successful career in management, operations and retail sales for popular chains such as Olive Garden, TGI Friday’s and Dickey’s Barbecue Pit are testaments to that. Now she’s bringing her operational savvy and eye for capitalizing on trends to Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise as its new president.

Already she’s set ambitious short- and long-term goals, including opening 15-20 new shops in 2018 alongside a more far-reaching goal of reaching 1,000+ franchise locations. As Gigi’s marks its 10th anniversary, Fowler sat down to talk about why she wanted to be part of the Gigi’s story, what her growth strategy looks like and why owning a Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise is a smart and attractive investment opportunity for entrepreneurs.

What was appealing about Gigi’s Cupcakes, specifically?

The potential. The brand is really strong for all kinds of markets — urban, small-town and everything in between. I have been with growth Brands and that’s exciting, and it’s fun. I wanted to bring that growth initiative to Gigi’s and take it to a more national level.

What are your long-term goals for Gigi’s?

We’d like to have 1,000 locations in the United States. We feel like there’s definitely space, and the market is out there. Right now we’re in 23 states, primarily in the Southeast and Midwest. There’s a ton of potential out there on the coasts. We also would like to open some restaurants internationally.

The last six years that I was at Friday’s, I worked on the international team. I was the Managing Director for the Asia-Pacific territory, and based on that experience I think that Gigi’s has a ton of potential internationally. It’s a very specialized brand. It’s got a lot of appeal as a very authentic, American-style dessert, and it requires a small space. Gigi’s has all of the things that make a brand more viable internationally.

What makes Gigi’s unique?

We have best-in-class product. We truly do. This is what drew me to Gigi’s, and why I’m so excited about it. We do competitive shopping all the time. We have products shipped in, and we go out to other shops and other national bakery chains. I can just tell you, objectively, our product is better.

Why is now a good time to invest in a Gigi’s franchise?

We’re large enough to have some pretty solid resources, but we are not so big yet that you get lost in the crowd. If you look at the growth trajectory of every brand, there’s been that sweet spot; if you got in when they were on the uptick and starting to grow, there’s a lot of momentum and excitement. We’re still a small company, but we don’t intend to stay small. I think people who join the brand now will look back and say, “I got in just when they were taking off.”

What are you looking for in a Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise owner?

A person who is engaged in the business. All food service is emotional to a point. It’s very hands-on; we call it a high-touch, low-tech business. Food service is about sharing with other people and preparing things to delight others. An ideal owner is someone who enjoys that component of it, who wants to be engaged in their store, who is involved in their community and who also can do the business-to-business selling component.

What are your geographic targets in 2018?

We’re looking to fill out markets where we already have a presence. The business was founded in Nashville, but our new home in Dallas-Fort Worth, so we’re going to have some corporate stores as well as franchise stores there. We would like to build out and get some traction there.

At the same time, we’re looking very heavily at Nashville, Charlotte and Atlanta as our primary targets for the remainder of 2018.

As entrepreneurs evaluate Gigi’s, what should they consider as they decide if it’s a good fit?

It’s really about making sure that you’re the sort of person who wants to be face-to-face with the consumer. You could have a passion for cooking and be a chef in a restaurant, but there you have very little guest interaction. Not so in a Gigi’s. A bakery is a very small and intimate type of business, so I think the person has to look at that model and spend time in our units. They need to see if they love it — both the face-to-face guest interaction and working very closely with a small team of bakers and decorators in the back of the house.

The best way to find out if you’re a fit is to just spend time with us, which is one of the things that we’ve put into place. We added a ‘Day in the Life’ program a few months ago where our franchise prospect spends a whole day with us; coming in in the morning, baking, decorating and doing customer service throughout the day.

What else do you want potential franchisees to know as they research Gigi’s?

They need to know that there is an incredible amount of commitment to the brand from our owners. The two partners of the private equity group who bought Gigi’s have bought and sold 18 businesses in their careers over 30 years. They’ve always been successful. They’ve always made improvements and strengthened the companies. They’re more excited about Gigi’s than any other brand or company that they’ve ever worked with, and they are so engaged with
the personality of the brand.

If you take their past track record as any indication, they are going to put all the resources they have toward it until our vision is met and Gigi’s Cupcakes is a coast-to-coast, 1,000-store and even international presence.

Gigi’s Cupcakes has grown from a single store near Nashville’s Music Row in 2008 to the most sought-after gourmet cupcake and bakery franchise in the country. With franchise locations in 24 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 footprint and build-out costs. 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.

Learn more about opening a Gigi’s Cupcakes bakery franchise

There’s never been a better time to join the Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise family. We are actively recruiting new franchisees across the country. If you’re passionate about business ownership and serving your community, we want to talk with you. Find out more by visiting our research pages or requesting a copy of our free Franchise Information Report.

Don’t Wait for Retirement to Live Your Dream of Owning Your Own Business

Texas couple uses their corporate experience to open a Gigi’s Cupcakes bakery franchise

Owning a Gigi’s Cupcakes bakery franchise is a dream come true for entrepreneurs with a passion for business ownership, customer service and delicious desserts. There’s no reason to put off your dreams of being your own boss, setting your own schedule and doing work you thoroughly enjoy. Because Gigi’s ownership is accessible and affordable, now is a great time to franchise with us.

New franchise owner Michelle Muller had always dreamed of decorating cakes but considered that work to be far in her future. Not anymore. Michelle and her husband, David, are living their dreams now as they plan to open their brand-new Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise within the next few months.

“Growing up, I would watch cake decorators at bakeries, and I always would say, ‘I’m going to be a cake decorator,’” says Michelle. “And as I got older, out of college, I would say, ‘Whenever I retire, I’m going to decorate cakes.’ That is exactly what I’ve told people; ‘Whenever I retire, I’m going to do something that I love because I really enjoy baking, but I only get to do it around Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays.’ Well, I’m not planning on retiring soon, but I do enjoy baking and decorating cakes, and I’m excited to shift my focus into something that I really and truly have a passion for and enjoy doing.”

Gigi’s Cupcakes bakery franchisees bring professional experiences to their business

David and Michelle are ideally suited for Gigi’s ownership. Besides her love of baking, the couple also has education and professional experiences that will benefit their business ownership. Both hold MBAs. She has worked in the foodservice industry in procurement and finance, and he is a marketing and pricing veteran.

“David often said: ‘We need a business. We need a business. We need something,’ and he said it for years,” Michelle says. “Finally, we thought about the background that we both have and what we would bring to the table, and we felt that we would be successful business partners. We decided that a franchise was the best and ideal way for us to do that. With a franchise, a lot of the effort is already in place, and it’s just a matter of following the marketing plan and the business strategies to be successful. After reviewing several concepts, Gigi’s was very attractive to us.”

The Mullers’ new Gigi’s Cupcakes bakery will be in the Cedar Hill area of Dallas, Texas, and their goal is to be fully operational by the spring of 2018. They are excited to bring the high quality and consistency of Gigi’s Cupcakes to their community.

“We are eager to have our own business and market a brand that we really and truly enjoy,” Michelle adds. “It’s rewarding to bring such a high-end, premier product as Gigi’s Cupcakes to our area. We have a lot of big plans for the store. We’re excited to partner with the southwest cities, local schools, churches, sports teams and companies in the area. We’ll be active in the community and participate in fundraising efforts to really and truly make a presence.”

Follow your dreams and open a Gigi’s Cupcakes bakery franchise

Gigi’s Cupcakes is growing throughout the United States, helping entrepreneurs make their business ownership dreams come true. There’s never been a better time than right now to join our franchise.

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

Why Do Franchisees Enjoy Owning a Gigi’s Cupcakes Bakery Franchise?

Community service, brand quality and unique products offer franchisees a satisfying experience

When it comes to doing work you love, Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise owners have good things to say about ownership. They create and serve our one-of-a-kind gourmet cupcakes and desserts to members of their communities while also running a fun and attractive local business.

Gigi’s Cupcakes has grown from a single store on Broadway Street near Nashville’s Music Row in 2008 to one of the most sought-after gourmet cupcake and bakery franchises in the country. With franchise locations 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.

As interested entrepreneurs look into the Gigi’s franchise opportunity, hearing first-hand from our owners about their businesses can help with the decision-making process. We asked our franchise owners what they loved most about owning their bakeries, and here’s what they had to say.

Gigi’s franchisees enjoy being active in their communities

“Connecting with the community is such a big part of what we do, and it’s so wonderful to be a part of making special memories for our customers.”

Marina Lee, Raleigh, North Carolina

“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.”

Emily Goertemoeller, Lafayette, Indiana

“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. 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.”

Stephanie Easterling, Madison, Wisconsin

Gigi’s franchisees enjoy being a part of our brand and franchise network

“Gigi’s founder Gigi Butler exemplifies the true American story, and the chance she took has branched out to take a chance on all of us franchisees.”

Beth Farrar, Florence, Kentucky

“Being a Gigi’s franchisee is really rewarding. The best part is you’re able to run your own business, but it’s within the confines of a support group that can help you in a lot of ways. I knew nothing about food or labor costs when I started, but now, I feel like I understand it.

“I also think there’s enough flexibility that allows you to make your business a success in the way you want it to be a success — meaning setting your own prices and specials and deciding what events you want to do. They are always open to new ideas. It’s the partnership that I have with them that I really treasure.”

Stephanie Easterling, Madison, Wisconsin

Gigi’s franchisees love spreading joy through our unique products that blow away our competitors

“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. 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, Lafayette, Indiana

“I love creating something that [I love and that I’m a fan of]. A lot of bakeries are not making things from scratch. We bake our products fresh every day and frost them by hand. We don’t have conveyor machinery. The quality and unique flavors offered by Gigi’s help us stand out.”

Beth Farrar, Florence, Kentucky

Learn more about opening a Gigi’s Cupcakes bakery franchise

There’s never been a better time to join the Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise family. We are actively recruiting new franchisees all across the country. If you’re passionate about business ownership and serving your community, we want to talk with you.

Find out more by visiting our research pages or requesting a copy of our free Franchise Information Report.

Love Working With People? A Gigi’s Cupcakes Franchise May Be Perfect for You

New Texas franchisee Starla Crawford is excited about serving her community with the joy of cupcakes

Our most successful Gigi’s Cupcakes franchisees are passionate about business and enthusiastic about our brand. There’s at least one other characteristic they all share: they love working with people.

Of all the professions that allow people to do meaningful work serving others, owning and operating a Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise has to be one of the most satisfying. Equipping people to celebrate with our delicious and beautiful cupcakes is gratifying work, as we help them make memories and put smiles on their faces.

Starla Crawford, Gigi’s Cupcakes’ newest entrepreneur-turned-franchisee, is a perfect example. Crawfordloves working with people and knows an opportunity when she sees it. In her community, there’s a great deal of need for a full-service bakery with lots of hungry people looking for the ideal cupcakes and cakes for their celebrations.

Crawford’s new Gigi’s Cupcakes is in Lake Jackson, Texas, located between Houston and Freeport. “We are somewhat of a coastal town, about 14 miles to the Gulf of Mexico from where we live,” explains Crawford. “We have a lot of industry and chemicalƒ plants here. We have a college, hospitals and two huge wedding venues that are new in the past five years. Part of our thinking process was that we have an opportunity here, as our area is growing exponentially. I plan to reach out to all these community members to take care of their catering needs.”

For a people-person like Crawford, owning a Gigi’s Cupcakes bakery is a perfect next step in her career. For the last 17 years, Crawford worked with a non-profit organization, the Nolan Ryan Foundation. Her work there was very people-focused and service-oriented. Once her husband, David, retired from his firefighting career, Crawford planned her retirement as well. That’s when she began looking for new opportunities to serve her community.

“Cupcakes have not gone out of style. Everybody still loves them. There’s always going to be special occasions and holidays to celebrate.”
– Gigi’s Franchisee Starla Crawford

“I love people, I enjoyed working for the Nolan Ryan Foundation because I built relationships with customers,” says Crawford. “I see myself doing the same thing with my Gigi’s Cupcakes bakery. I’ll be the front person to greet customers, to build relationships with the community, to go around and advertise in person and take treats to all of the big businesses. Customer service is key, and community relations is everything. I look forward to getting to know different branches of our community that I may not have known before. I’m excited to bring a little joy with baked goods.”

Crawford believes that owning and operating a cupcake bakery with Gigi’s is an excellent fit with long-term potential. “Cupcakes have not gone out of style,” she says. “Everybody still loves them. There’s always going to be special occasions and holidays to celebrate.”

Wanted: entrepreneurs who love people to open more Gigi’s Cupcakes bakeries

If you are a “people person” like Crawford and are looking for a gratifying career, consider opening a Gigi’s Cupcakes bakery. We are actively recruiting entrepreneurs to open franchise locations across the Southeast and Midwest.

To learn more, continue exploring our research pages and request a copy of our free Franchise Information report.

Gigi’s Cupcakes Franchise Sees Largest Growth in Five Years

Fastest-growing bakery franchise celebrates 2017 and looks ahead to continued growth in 2018  

Gigi’s Cupcakes bakery franchise closes the door on 2017 with a celebration. This year, we’ve seen our most significant growth in five years, having awarded franchises in new markets and states, as well as continued to build out density and maximize our position in existing markets.

We awarded a multi-unit development deal to build new locations in what will be our farthest Western location — Utah. Our Utah franchise is particularly exciting as it pioneers Gigi’s western expansion and provides the foothold necessary to build awareness and brand equity for new customers across the Western U.S.

Not only did we expand our footprint geographically, but we also continued to increase density in existing markets.  In 2017, we opened additional franchises in both the Dallas and Houston areas, which will enable us to gain further market share and create easier access for existing customers.  We also added more units to the pipeline for both markets that will plan to open their doors in 2018.

“2017 was an important and exciting year for Gigi’s,” says Jack Sibley, Vice President of Franchise Development for Gigi’s Cupcakes. “We refocused the company’s efforts on awarding franchises to individuals and groups who bring passion, business acumen and growth potential. Bringing in the right franchisees is paramount to the overall health and long-term success of the brand. We feel the franchisees we brought in this year will further strengthen our system and leverage their expertise to enhance our brand system-wide.”

Gigi’s Cupcakes focuses on support into the new year

As we move from a 100-unit system to a 200- to a 300-unit system, we recognize the importance of building best-in-class support and infrastructure mechanisms. This year the executive team invested heavily in marketing, technology and operations to ensure our growth is strategic and sustainable and brought in seasoned industry professionals for each business unit and laid a strong foundation for continued growth.

From a product standpoint, we began testing a robust coffee program that will provide a best-in-class complementary product to our customers, as well as drive both daily and hourly frequency.  We continue to evaluate our program in corporate locations and hope to roll it out to willing franchisees across the system in early 2018.

More Gigi’s Cupcakes bakery franchises expected to open in 2018

Our 2018 goals will continue to be aggressive, but sustainable. We plan to increase our new store pipeline by 20% and open 15-20 new locations. We are primarily targeting large markets within the Southeast and Midwest where we can open multiple stores, as well as suburban areas and communities that currently lack the celebration offerings that Gigi’s provides.

Gigi’s is the largest, fastest-growing specialty bakery in the country, and we continue to invest in our business infrastructure to provide the highest caliber support for our franchisees.  We have goals to become a national brand and seek entrepreneurs who want to supply the increasing demand for Gigi’s in both new and existing markets.

“Now is a great time to join Gigi’s,” says Jack. “We offer a relatively low-cost investment with large upside and growth opportunity. We want to partner with entrepreneurs who have a solid business acumen, have owned or operated businesses and are interested in growing with the brand. Our most successful franchisees are also passionate and committed to providing exceptional customer service in their stores.”

Start the new year with Gigi’s franchise ownership

There’s no better way to kick off 2018 than with franchise ownership with Gigi’s Cupcakes. If you are interested in bringing Gigi’s to your community, we’d love to talk with you. Find out more about franchising with us by exploring our research pages or requesting a copy of our free Franchise Information Report.

Why This Father-Daughter Team Loves Owning a Gigi’s Cupcakes Franchise

Gigi’s Cupcakes brings a family together in Lexington, Kentucky

Father and daughter John and Halie Raymer have lived and worked all over the world for years, but a new joint venture has brought them closer personally and professionally. Since purchasing a Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise in Lexington, Kentucky earlier this year, building their business together is very exciting.

With John’s and Halie’s careers often taking them to different parts of the country, they are grateful to have their Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise to build a business, so they can have fun and reconnect as a family.

“I really appreciate the opportunity to work with Gigi’s,” John says. “Our franchise has given me the chance to work with my daughter — after we’ve lived in different cities for a lot of years. Gigi’s has given us incredible support as we’ve gotten started in Lexington — the technical support, the offer to help us renovate, the ins and outs of things. If we had a question, the Gigi’s team was there with unconditional support. They have this attitude of, ‘Let us know what we can do to make something happen for you,’ and I really appreciate that. I’m so grateful for the fact that Gigi’s has reconnected my daughter and me, brought us closer and given us something in common.”

Raymers prepare their Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise for grand opening

With completely different professional backgrounds, John and Halie bring complementary strengths to their business. John, who has been an executive for an automotive company for years, is bringing his knowledge of business and management. Halie is bringing not only her passion for baking but a pretty impressive background, too. After earning her degree in baking and pastry arts from Sullivan University, Halie traveled to Germany to participate in the 2013 Culinary Olympics. She won a silver medal in the professional division for butter sculpting before coming to work as a general manager for Gigi’s Cupcakes in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Now she’s using her world-class skills to grow her own Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise.

The Raymers purchased an existing Gigi’s franchise in Lexington earlier this year, and they’ve dedicating much effort to putting their mark on the location. They will be renovating and upgrading to the design that Gigi’s rolled out earlier this year, and are working with their staff members to push their efficiency — and ultimately, the customer experience — to new heights.

“I really enjoyed getting to educate and retrain the staff, and to just reiterate why we do things the way we do,” Halie says. “It was very exciting to revamp the energy and environment in the store. We were retraining people who already had a grasp on what they were doing, but going deeper and diving into the reasons behind our methods was really beneficial.”

What it takes to open a Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise

Although Halie can certainly benefit from her unique baking background as she is growing her Gigi’s franchise, extensive baking experience doesn’t necessarily make or break a Gigi’s Cupcakes. She and John emphasize that it’s more important to have the willingness to put in time and effort.

“What is important is having your core and your team and most importantly support — and that’s what we get from corporate,” Halie says.

John and Halie chose to open a Gigi’s franchise for that very reason — the corporate support for franchisees. “Gigi’s is very well structured, and they have made themselves very available to us for anything that we have needed. When you call them, you’ve got experts in all these different functions who can answer your questions as you run the business. I’ve very much liked having someone else with a stake in our business, as opposed to being out there on my own.”

Bring joy to your community with your own Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise location

If you’re ready to live your dreams of business ownership — perhaps with a family member or loved one — and bring the joy of Gigi’s Cupcakes to your town, we’re eager to meet you! Purchasing a Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise offers a low-cost, low-risk and scalable bakery franchise, and it can give you the opportunity to be involved in your community in new and unique ways.

We are positioned to open as many as 20 new locations this year — could your hometown be one of them? For in-depth details about the Gigi’s franchise opportunity, download our free franchise report or learn more by visiting our research pages.

Seasonal Menus Drive Sales for Gigi’s Cupcakes Franchisees

Fall menu capitalizes on flavor trends popular on social media, fall holidays

While some retail establishments may lag in keeping a constant flow of foot traffic, Gigi’s Cupcakes is busy luring customers in for cupcakes inspired by seasonal trends and special days on the calendar. Limited availability of these products is an added incentive for customers to make repeat visits to Gigi’s.

Quarterly, Gigi’s creates a new menu of products to satisfy popular demand. The new fall menu features Pumpkin Spice, S’mores, Vanilla and Caramel-flavored products.

“We use the seasons to infuse menus that are relevant to either the time of the year or a trend going on at the time,” says Emily Beesley, Director of Marketing for Gigi’s Cupcakes. “When you have some of these new, trendy or relevant flavors, we can get people to make that extra trip to come in.”

This time of year, everybody is obsessed with pumpkin spice everything. Gigi’s has a cupcake for that. “I just always laugh because you see the hashtag, ‘PSL,’ and all the pumpkin spice latte options and whatnot from Starbucks. So, of course, it makes sense from a cupcake standpoint to have a Pumpkin Spice cupcake, and it’s delicious. Also, we make that one available in our gluten-friendly option,” explains Emily.

We have an answer for those folks who love the chill of Autumn air, too. “You think about campfires as the air gets crisper, so it makes perfect sense to offer a S’mores cupcake,” says Emily. “With that one and our Pumpkin Spice cupcake, we’ve got both pumpkin and chocolate lovers covered.”

“When you have some of these new, trendy or relevant flavors, we can get people to make that extra trip to come in.” – Emily Beesley, Director of Marketing for Gigi’s Cupcakes.

Social media also plays a huge role in influencing both customer buying behavior and Gigi’s menu creation. With the pumpkin spice flavored-everything memes showing up in people’s Facebook feeds and innumerable variations of S’mores recipes on Pinterest boards — including S’mores bars, brownies and cheesecakes — Gigi’s knows that there’s demand for such popular treats this time of year. “The prevalence of these flavors has created a whole social media cultural phenomenon,” says Emily. “They are very good fall flavors for us.”

The sweet and salty trend is another that’s still going strong. Our fall twist on that pairs salted caramel — an Autumn favorite — with both chocolate and vanilla into cheesecakes. What’s more comforting during a season when customers’ thoughts turn to cozy nights inside than these three flavors, sure to evoke memories of home?

“For the fall, we’ve got a Chocolate Salted Caramel cheesecake and a Vanilla Salted Caramel cheesecake. So, we’re capitalizing on both the sweet and salty trend that people really like and are good flavors for fall. We are able to hit the chocolate and vanilla lover with two delicious options,” says Emily.

Our Boxes, filled with mini cupcakes, are always a favorite at holiday time. For Halloween, our franchisees will offer The Boo Box, combining creepy and cute all in one, with six Vanilla and six Devil’s Food mini cupcakes, all ghoulishly decorated for Halloween with witches, pumpkins, and ghosts. The Gobble Box includes six Vanilla and six Devil’s Food mini cupcakes, all decorated with Thanksgiving-themed buttercream frosting.

For customers in search of a special treat to celebrate the season and fall holidays, Gigi’s Cupcakes are second to none. By answering consumer demand for Autumn-inspired flavor profiles and desserts to celebrate the season, Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise owners enjoy increased traffic to their stores, more sales and greater profit potential during the fall.

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.

GiGI's Cupcakes franchise owners

New franchisees Matt and Launa Weston have big plans for their Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise in Utah

Hotel Owner and His Family Bring Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise 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.”

GiGI's Cupcakes franchise owners

Matt and Launa Weston bring Gigi’s Cupcakes Franchise 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.   

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.


Gigi's Cupcakes New Store Design

Gigi’s Cupcakes Franchise Rolls Out New Store Design

Updates increase efficiency, provide a great customer experience and help increase sales for franchise owners

As we quickly approach Gigi’s Cupcakes’ tenth anniversary, we’re excited to announce a new and improved store design, created to make our franchisees more efficient and deliver the very best customer experience. The state-of-the-art design introduces new menu boards and display cases, which have both aesthetic appeal and functional purpose.

Gigi's Cupcakes New Store Design in East Lansing, MI

“We are working to implement best practices across the brand, enhance efficiencies and provide an exceptional customer experience within the four walls,” says Jack Sibley, Vice President of Franchise Development for Gigi’s. “As part of this effort, all new Gigi’s locations will include digital display menu boards and temperature-controlled display cases that allow customers to view all our beautiful products up close,” Jack says. New stores will also have upgraded seating areas and interior refurbishments, like new cabinetry and painted wainscoting.

New designs and technology bring an outstanding Gigi’s experience — for customers and for franchise owners

With the upgrades, Gigi’s will create a welcoming environment for all who enter the store, as well as provide franchisees with new technology and functional design that will enhance their day-to-day operations.

Gigi's Cupcakes New Store Design in Pittsburg, PA

Gigi’s has recently partnered with Revel Systems, a feature-intensive point-of-sale and business management system that gives franchisees a better, clearer look at the strengths of their business, as well as areas that need attention. “This system will capture data about sales, inventory and labor in a way that we’ve never had before,” says Jack, adding that the system provides analytics that will streamline and maximize efficiencies. “The entire upgrade for new Gigi’s locations is about creating an atmosphere that’s cutting-edge, while also providing franchisees with the data they need to make the store run as smoothly as possible.”

All newly opened stores will have the updated design, and we’re here to support and assist our existing franchisees as they incorporate the new elements in their stores to create the best possible customer experience. At Gigi’s, we count on our franchisees to grow the brand in their own communities. To make that possible, we’re committed to providing the resources and assistance you need, whether you’re just now considering opening a store or have been with us for ten years.

In addition to the new store designs and systems, new and existing franchisees will also benefit from an expanded product line, including
recurring and seasonal menu items.

Gigi's Cupcakes New Store Design in Sprint Hill, TN

Find out more about how you can own a brand new Gigi’s location with cutting-edge technology and design

Gigi’s just reached the triple digits on our number of open store locations, and there’s never been a better time to find your place in the Gigi’s family. We’re excited to help entrepreneurs open a Gigi’s Cupcakes featuring our upgraded store design, which equips new franchisees with a solid foundation upon which to build a sustainable business.

We’re looking for people who love being involved in your community and want to bring the joy of Gigi’s Cupcakes to their neighborhood. If that’s you, we can’t wait to talk to you!

Find out more on our research pages, or download a copy of our Franchise Information Report.