- Magnolia Bakery, a cupcake shop that started in Manhattan’s West Village and was popularised by “Sex and the City,” is planning on expanding across the United States.
- The bakery already has nine locations in the US and 17 internationally.
- We visited the original location of the famed cupcake chain to see what it was all about.
Magnolia Bakery, a little cupcake shop that started in Manhattan’s West Village and was popularised with help from “Sex and the City,” is about to take over the United States.
The cupcake chain has been slowly expanding under CEO Steve Abrams’ guidance since he took over Magnolia in 2006. Currently, there are six Magnolia Bakery locations in New York, plus outposts in Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles. The chain also operates 17 international locations across seven different countries.
Earlier this week, Abrams told the Wall Street Journal that the company plans to open as many as 200 additional franchises across the US in the next five years.
While some have argued that the cupcake craze has long been over, Abrams said that cupcakes only make up about a third of the company’s sales. It also sells popular cakes and banana pudding.
We recently stopped by the original Magnolia Bakery in the West Village to see what it was all about:
Magnolia Bakery’s original location is in a small building on the corner of Bleecker Street and West 11th Street in New York City.
The inside of the bakery was smaller than I expected it to be, and it smelled overwhelmingly like sugar.
The windowsills are lined with decorative cakes and cupcakes, carefully arranged on a pink-and-white polka-dot tablecloth.
Magnolia is most famous for its cupcakes. It sells flavours like chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and red velvet, as well as a specialty menu that rotates daily. This month, specialty flavours include coconut, s’mores, and lemon.
It’s a charming space and has a ton of natural light coming in. There’s a small photo on the wall from the scene of “Sex and the City” that Magnolia was featured in.
Magnolia appeared in a 2000 episode of the show. Tourists began flocking there, and a “Sex and the City” tour bus made the location a destination. Magnolia’s sudden popularity essentially kicked off a cupcake boom that saw the opening of other chains like Sprinkles Cupcakes and Crumbs.
Along the walls are framed magazines that have featured Magnolia Bakery.
Below that, the bakery sells Magnolia cake knives, birthday candles, picks, postcards, greeting cards, tea, and cookbooks.
Vintage signs and jars of sprinkles and other toppings are scattered throughout the quaint bakery.
Magnolia sells cakes, cupcakes, pastries, and coffee. Lattes and other espresso drinks ranged in price from $US3.75 to $US5.50.
Below the counter where coffee orders are taken, there’s a display of cakes and mini cheesecakes for sale. The mini cheesecakes cost about $US8 each. Also in the display case are sodas and other drinks.
A separate counter sells other pastries including brownies, cookies, crumb pies, and its famous cupcakes. Most pastries cost less than $US4. This counter was where the biggest line was, but it was moving fast. There were about five employees behind the counter, and a constant stream of people in and out of the store.
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