Crumbs closes its doors

Cupcakes took a hit July 1, when the NASDAQ decided to drop Crumbs Bake Shop. Crumbs came to power, as students of online baking programs may remember, during the initial cupcake craze of the early 2000s. In an infamous scene from “Sex in the City,” Carrie and Miranda chow down on pink-topped delectable sweets from Magnolia Bakery. People soon lined the streets outside of Magnolia in hectic attempts to get a taste of the show. Other cupcake bakeries soon opened in pursuit of the fame that Magnolia had found, and one of those shops was Crumbs.

Big moves
To stand out from the crowd, Crumbs debuted its larger-than-life cupcakes. Reaching a height of 4 inches, each treat was a practice in indulgence. Crumbs’s website featured each flavorful temptation with an inside view, revealing the enormous amount of icing both within and atop their cakes. Crumbs soon topped itself, releasing its “Colossal” cupcake series, which could serve 6 to 8 people. The company went bold on flavor as well, featuring some favorite icing-filled cupcakes like the apple cobbler, Girl Scout chocolate PB (peanut butter) creme and pistachio.

The company was a hit, and opened numerous other stores across the country. Jason and Mia Bauer, founders of Crumbs, hoped to reach a peak of 200 stores by the year 2014. Unfortunately for the Bauers, Crumbs closed its last existing 48 stores on July 7, 2014.

Apocalypse cupcake
Many theories have spawned to answer why such a venture lost steam. The Financial Post cited the company’s over-eager expansions, whereas some claim it was due to the dawn of a new designer dessert. It was most likely a combination of the two. Customers have been shying away from mountainous desserts and favoring healthier choices and smaller servings. A few new bakeries in New York have taken hold of this trend by developing their own mini-desserts; Treat House is the home of the mini rice crispy, Baked By Melissa features finger-sized cupcakes, and Laduree bakes bite-size macaroons.

At the moment, smaller may prove better, whether that is in terms of fewer calories or in literal size. The price of a “Colossal” from Crumbs was $42, and today there are few people willing to splurge on giant cupcakes. Don’t forget the wave of healthy treat options like frozen yogurt, which are still growing in popularity.

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