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Old 07-11-2014, 10:57 PM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
9,620 posts, read 12,854,488 times
Reputation: 11169

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I never got the whole designer cupcake trend. It seemed like their main appeal was how "cute" they were... The decorations and the novelty of being able to buy a little gourmet cake with a yerba mate batter and lavender de Provence frosting to giggle at was just as big a draw as eating the damn thing.

I was in LA when they started blowing up and suddenly they were everywhere. Crumbs and Sprinkles were the two big ones in LA and my female friends seemed to be in a race to see who could love cupcakes more; who could post the most Facebook updates of them holding it up and making a kissy face, or casually mention how much they loved cupcakes while talking about Lana Del Rey. It was a bizzarely twee little trend to me, one that as a red-blooded American male, I didn't understand. I think the owners overestimated the limits of appeal that a shop dedicated solely to this twee little trend held. Fast casual places like Chipotle boomed and continue to stay in business and grow because they offer a product everyone will eat: lunch. Traditional bakeries stay in business because they offer cupcakes, cakes, breads, donuts, and pastries. Starbucks sells ornate coffee novelties and small breakfast and lunch bites plus they have seating and free WiFi. All crumbs really did was sell a trendy novelty and trends come and go.

An individual cupcake shop can open up and make money as long as the market isn't saturated and they offer a service people want. When I lived in Seattle, my friends' favorite cupcake shop also offered juices, coffee, and a daily special of other pastries plus free WiFi so that you could order one and a coffee, sit, do your work, then maybe order another after 45 minutes to an hour. People will gladly pay $5 for a cupcake if it includes WiFi and a place to socialize. They do good business due in part to the fact they offer other services. There are only so many people in so many places who are willing to stop at Starbucks, then the bakery, then the supermarket, and then the cupcake shop.

In any case, I may not get the trend but it's too bad when trends die and take jobs with them. People staked their livelihoods on it, dedicated their energy and creativity to it. The low-wage, rank-and-file employees who depended on it are now back looking for work ASAP. I feel sorry for them all.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:54 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
28,324 posts, read 43,672,804 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armory View Post
The Starbuck's across the street baffles me as well.

You can get a large cup of great coffee at McDonald's for $1 with all the cream and sugar you want. You can even get refills. Do you want a good cup of coffee or a frufru drink? I don't like DD but Einstein Bros is cool as they let you sit and drink as much Joe as you can hold. They have different flavors to make it interesting.
7-11 will do but it has to be the strong stuff.
Starbucks sells ambiance more so than "the best coffee" - although, I have to disagree that McDonald's coffee is comparable (yuk IMO). But people who frequent Starbucks go for the comfortable indoor & outdoor seating, free wifi, pastries/food, specialty drinks, and the overall coffee shop vibe.

I work in kind of an isolated neighborhood, where Starbucks is one of the few nearby businesses... so when I don't bring lunch from home, I enjoy spending my break there. I don't even get coffee very often, just a sandwich and water or juice! On a nice day, I particularly like reading and people-watching on their outdoor patio.

P.S. I don't think we have Einstein Bros here, and definitely don't have any DDs. Starbucks and Peets pretty much have the market cornered, unless you find a small neighborhood kind of place.
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Kalamalka Lake, B.C.
2,990 posts, read 3,796,307 times
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Default 100 percent sugar

Quote:
Originally Posted by baileyvpotter View Post
I couldn't understand the cupcake craze in the first place.
Have you actually HAD one of these things? I've had them at promotions lots of times and
there is so much sugar I gag. Now, Cookies by George, that's different. At least there's nuts.

Okay, there's a little bleached flour in there, but you have to wonder. And in Vancouver, BC
they're tiny. For over two bucks EACH.

Maybe you CAN fool some of the people all of the time.
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Old 07-12-2014, 01:18 PM
 
5,413 posts, read 4,858,622 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedwightguy View Post
Have you actually HAD one of these things? I've had them at promotions lots of times and
there is so much sugar I gag. Now, Cookies by George, that's different. At least there's nuts.

Okay, there's a little bleached flour in there, but you have to wonder. And in Vancouver, BC
they're tiny. For over two bucks EACH.

Maybe you CAN fool some of the people all of the time.
It really depends on the cupcake. We have an independent foodtruck that does cup-cakes...and those area always amazing.....flavorful and not just sugar. They go around to different office parks during the week, often are at the food truck rodeos and the local bowling alley invites them to park up frount on their weekly family night.
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:47 PM
 
4,878 posts, read 4,599,781 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rohirette View Post
I guess most people are either cake people, or pie/fruit pastry people. I am most firmly in the latter camp, and have never understood the cupcake craze or the general degeneration of the state of pie baking. When I moved to Philly, I felt as if I was in the middle of pie wasteland. Nothing but cakes and cannolis everywhere, but no flaky pastry, good curds or berry fillings anywhere.

The trend towards pie bakeries is encouraging to me, though, as many people will experience their first flaky butter and lard crusts (light years away from grocery store abominations) and fresh fruit fillings. Maybe once they've had it, they'll demand better, or do it themselves at home.
It may not be homemade but in the midwest there's:
Bakers Square: Locations



Quote:
Originally Posted by thedwightguy View Post
Have you actually HAD one of these things? I've had them at promotions lots of times and
there is so much sugar I gag. Now, Cookies by George, that's different. At least there's nuts.
Okay, there's a little bleached flour in there, but you have to wonder. And in Vancouver, BC
they're tiny. For over two bucks EACH.
Maybe you CAN fool some of the people all of the time.
Had one once...not impressed and yes, they were too sugary.
Prefer going to an old fashioned bakery - where they are so many choices.
Unfortunately, many great bakeries that I once went to closed. These were bakeries that had an
assortment of fresh breads, cakes, apple slices, tortes and some custard pies.

Skokie European bakery offering cakes, pastries, petite fours, and cookies for retail or catering in Chicagoland : Ovy Bakery
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Needham, MA
6,338 posts, read 9,104,290 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weezycom View Post
My guess is it's the going public & expansion that brought it down. One shop run by the baker can change up much more quickly and doesn't have to meet the shareholders' demands. The ingredients are fairly cheap so there aren't great economies of scale in ratio to the rent loads on a small chain. Dunkin' Donuts can stay in biz because they got a lot of their real estate when it was much cheaper to come by.
Dunkin Donuts stays in business because they are constantly reinventing themselves to a degree. Only a small portion of DD sales are donuts. Their big sellers (and coincidentally their highest margin products) are coffee/beverages and sandwiches. They're not the "one trick pony" that Crumbs was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburban_Guy View Post
Basically, management failed to anticipate the changing public taste for food items, especially sweets. I remember Krispy Kreme when it first expanded across the country, there were huge lines everywhere for their donuts. Then people got tired of it, and KK crashed. I think it's made a comeback not too long ago though.

Expansion probably didn't help either.

I do like what Adam says about the concept of business owners and passion. There's this belief that passion alone is what will make people succeed in business. Yet that same passion is what creates business owners to blindly run their businesses to the ground, as they fail to anticipate changing trends and tastes (hubris).
I love KK donuts. Sadly, the people who run the company must be morons because they did zero market research about the consumers in my area before they expanded here. People don't tend to buy many donuts around here. We buy lots of coffee though which keeps all the DD's in business but KK's coffee was awful. Their lack of understanding was blatantly obvious and contributed largely to their failure along with the unfortunate timing of the rise of the "no carb" diet craze which included Atkins and The South Beach Diet. These diets became wildly popular at exactly the same time that KK was expanding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RogueMom View Post
Great, now we'll have "Pie Wars" and pie shops popping up with cutesey wootsey names on them, oh like maybe "Pie in the Sky" ( I apologize if there really is one).
I'm almost positive there's a pie shop somewhere around here with that name. My guess (and hope) is that the next food craze will be gourmet donuts. It's impossible to find a decent donut around here.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:04 AM
Status: "if UNTHAW is a word ..i want to UN-AGE ," (set 2 days ago)
 
17,266 posts, read 22,321,881 times
Reputation: 31495
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikePRU View Post
Dunkin Donuts stays in business because they are constantly reinventing themselves to a degree. Only a small portion of DD sales are donuts. Their big sellers (and coincidentally their highest margin products) are coffee/beverages and sandwiches. They're not the "one trick pony" that Crumbs was.



I love KK donuts. Sadly, the people who run the company must be morons because they did zero market research about the consumers in my area before they expanded here. People don't tend to buy many donuts around here. We buy lots of coffee though which keeps all the DD's in business but KK's coffee was awful. Their lack of understanding was blatantly obvious and contributed largely to their failure along with the unfortunate timing of the rise of the "no carb" diet craze which included Atkins and The South Beach Diet. These diets became wildly popular at exactly the same time that KK was expanding.



I'm almost positive there's a pie shop somewhere around here with that name. My guess (and hope) is that the next food craze will be gourmet donuts. It's impossible to find a decent donut around here.


a donut shop just opened in a downtown location a month ago nearby , 10 yrs ago,,,, it may not have worked- 20 years ago there was a well known bakery that closed down because of the health food Nazi's shaming people into "you cant eat donuts they will kill you"

so, less and less people ate the fatty rich foods- I was one of them.. we just didn't cut down on them,, we stopped eating them altogether- again,,they closed


this donut shop that just opened is doing extremely well, -maybe its because, we stopped eating donuts, or maybe its a finger in the eye of all the health Nazis, ,,
or maybe (and I fit in this group)may think,,,life is too short, eating is one of lifes pleasures, why deny yourself something that you enjoy eating?? (in moderation)

out of high school,, a friend wanted me to work with him at a bakery-his parents owned.
they just celebrated 30 yrs owning the business and the local paper did a write up on the business,,,and the very last paragraph of the article,,, they just had to ask a nutritionist what she thought about a bakery, and she said she refuses to shop there, that this bakery makes very unhealthy foods and you shouldn't eat anything this rich and sweet

so,,, the writing was on the wall- you want to eat well, don't go to a bakery-


this is why I am so pleased this new donut shop is doing well
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