Home Back Issues February 2010 Cupcake bakeries succeed in stale economy

Cupcake bakeries succeed in stale economy

| Print |  Email
Articles - February 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010

CupcakeEven in these sour economic times, people are still willing to pay for some sweets.

With the exception of Portland’s St. Cupcake, whose 2009 sales were up only $200 over 2008, cupcake bakeries around the state report increased sales in the past year, perhaps making artisan cupcakes as much an escapist item as movie-going during the Great Depression. Two bakeries are even moving out of home kitchens and into retail space.

Artisan cupcake bakeries are a recent phenomenon in Oregon and a growing niche market with about half a dozen bakeries in the state.

St. Cupcake owner Jami Curl says the “definite craze” for cupcakes is growing. “I think cupcakes have become fashionable,” says Liz Marek, the owner of Artisan Cake Company in Keizer.

Owners attribute the success to a number of factors.

“They’re inexpensive, and they’re a great treat,” says Ida Gurule, the owner of Ida’s Cupcake Café in Bend.

And the variety of flavor, cake, and frosting combinations, such as Albany’s Rocket Queen Cupcakes “Squealer” cupcake — a vanilla cake with bacon, maple butter cream and a piece of candied bacon on top — appeal to the eyes as well as the stomach, making spending a couple dollars on something you could get for a dollar at Safeway palatable.

St. Cupcake charges $1.25 and $2.50 for mini and regular-sized cupcakes. Cupcake Jones, Portland’s second cupcake bakery, sells its “jumbo” cupcakes for $3.25 and $1.25 for mini ones.

“It’s the cute factor. They’re just so adorable. People really enjoy the whole bite-sized-cake idea,” says Marek.

Gurule sees as many 100 customers daily, and sales have increased by 100% in the last year, which she attributes to word of mouth, increased advertising and a location on a busy downtown street next to a popular restaurant.

Thaddeus Moore, co-owner of the Divine Cupcake in Eugene, says sales are “down a little bit,” but they are expanding beyond a home kitchen this March after being open for three years. “We’re doing pretty good, actually,” he says.

“It’s an affordable indulgence,” Curl says. “Everyone can seem to justify it.”

AMANDA WALDROUPE
 

More Articles

Measure 91: What Oregon Businesses Need to Know

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
91 thumbBY DIANE BUISMAN

Some common misconceptions employers have about marijuana.


Read more...

A Complex Portrait: Immigration, Jobs and the Economy

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE & KIM MOORE

Oregon Business reports on the visa squeeze, the skills gap and foreign-born residents who are revitalizing rural Oregon.


Read more...

100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon [VIDEO]

News
Thursday, October 02, 2014

Screen shot 2014-10-02 at 11.17.21 AMMore than 5,500 employees from 180 organizations throughout the state participated in the 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon project.


Read more...

OB Poll: Wineries and groceries

News
Friday, October 24, 2014

24-winethumbA majority of respondents agreed: Local vineyards should remain Oregon-owned and quality is the most important factor when determining where to eat or buy groceries.


Read more...

Downtime

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Bob Dethlefs, CEO of Evanta, balances work and play.


Read more...

Shifting Ground

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

Bans on genetically modified crops create uncertainty for farmers.


Read more...

The short list: 5 hot coffee shops for entrepreneurs

Contributed Blogs
Friday, November 14, 2014

CupojoeBY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Oregon entrepreneurs reveal their favorite caffeine hangouts.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS