Here's What Happened To The Massively Trendy Crumbs Cupcakes

Crumbs Bakeshop initially emerged on the scene in 2003, founded by Mia and Jason Bauer. The first store opened on New York City's Upper West Side specializing in handcrafted cupcakes with a variety of flavors. The bake shop rode a wave of popularity in the 2000s during which eating gourmet cupcakes suddenly became all the rage. One of the sparks that ignited this particular dessert trend was an episode of "Sex and the City" that shows Sarah Jessica Parker's character Carrie Bradshaw noshing on a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery in NYC's West Side.

Crumbs quickly expanded and launched stores nationwide amid its rapid rise to fame, but also faced increasing competition from rival cupcake companies, which numbered in the hundreds by 2011 – the same year Mia and Jason Bauer sold the company. It continued expanding exponentially as the cupcake market simultaneously became oversaturated, doubling from 35 stores in 2011 to 70 in 2013. 

Crumbs locations soon began siphoning money, and it was forced to shutter some of its stores. Finally in the summer of 2014, a week after its suspension from Nasdaq, Crumbs announced it was closing for good. That's how the cupcake empire crumbled. However, that wasn't the end of the Crumbs Bakeshop story.

From sweet success to financial ruin back to sweet success?

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Crumbs Bakeshop made a return to the dessert scene in 2022 with its original owners, husband-and-wife duo Mia and Jason Bauer, leading the charge. In a nod to their roots, its cupcakes were first offered through select New York grocery stores, but Crumbs' confections are now also available online for nationwide delivery through Gopuff. Additionally, the product line has expanded to include nine flavors of cookies as well as their 13 signature flavors of cupcakes.

For this version 2.0 of Crumbs, their business model has transitioned away from the brick-and-mortar store approach to an emphasis on supermarkets and online shipping. It will focus solely on grocery stores and e-commerce with no intention of opening any physical locations. The plan has been to begin selling the homemade cupcakes and cookies in Northeast supermarkets, with the eventual goal of expanding into more stores across the country. The Bauers derived the relaunch idea during the pandemic with the hope that this new concept will help revive the once enormously popular cupcake enterprise.