Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Crumbs Interview

What comes to mind when you think of cupcakes? I'm assuming moderately sized yellow cupcakes with a nice layer of vanilla or chocolate icing on top. Am I right? That's what I used to think a cupcake was too, until I was introduced to Crumbs.

Crumbs is not your average bake shop, oh no. They take cupcakes to the next level! Their sweet treats are LARGE and in charge and covered with amazing chocolate chips, candies, peanut butter, chocolate drizzle, coconut, and much more. The cupcakes are truly a work of art just as much as they satisfy a sweet tooth. Not to mention Crumbs also sells cookies, whoopie pies, brownies, and more! Crumbs currently has locations in VA, IL, CT, NY, DC, NJ. Locations in PA are opening soon. Stop by your local Crumbs today!

Here's some examples of some of my favorite Crumbs cupcakes for your viewing pleasure:

Brownie Cupcake

Baba Booey

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Vanilla Puff

Feel free to wipe the drool from your keyboard, it's perfectly normal and okay! :)

Crumbs recently opened close to where I work. It's delicious but dangerous, all at the same time. I'm a fan of Crumbs on Facebook so I can keep up with their sugary updates, and I am always temped to grab something yummy on my lunch break, especially when they post the cupcake of the week. It's sometimes hard to fight the Crumbs urge!

Since I've been a long time lover of Crumbs, I wanted to know more and truly dig deeper into the confectionery treat. I had the chance to interview Mia Bauer, co-founder of Crumbs. She really gave great answers to my questions and gave me wonderful insight into what Crumbs as a company is all about.

How was the concept for Crumbs developed?
I did a lot of baking and I saw how happy it made people so when Jason and I started to talk about opening a business together, opening a bakery seemed like the perfect way to combine both skills and our passions. There was a whole feel and experience we wanted to achieve so it very much informed the kind of desserts I made and the look of our stores. We really wanted a neighborhood bakery reminiscent of our childhoods. We opened our first CRUMBS Bake Shop on the Upper West Side in 2003.

What do you feel is something that people love most about Crumbs?
When we opened our stores, cupcakes were vanilla, chocolate, lemon, or strawberry, maybe with sprinkles. We were really the first bakery to create cupcakes with cool fillings, frostings, and decorations that had never been done before. Vanilla Coconut was one of my first creations consisting of vanilla cake frosted with rich vanilla cream cheese frosting and topped with just the right amount of sweet shredded coconut. While we made a variety of baked goods, it was our cupcakes that sold out every day, so we decided to expand and continued to grow our cupcake selection. Our gourmet cupcakes have now become the industry standard.

How are the flavor ideas created? Do you take flavor suggestions from fans?
I am constantly testing out new flavors and drawing inspiration from my kids, employees and our loyal fans to develop new varieties. I spend a lot of my time baking on my own to try out new flavors, which are constantly being created. Luckily, I could snack on sweets all day, since part of my job is to taste every new flavor, and not just a bite!

Do you think you'll expand and ever have international stores?
Yes, we look forward to having 200 stores in operation by the end of 2014 and continuing to deliver a great customer experience and differentiate our baked goods selection. Maybe someday our neighborhood bakeries will even make their way overseas.

How many cupcakes do you sell a month?
About 1,000,000 a month.

What's one way that you're constantly changing and evolving?
We are constantly developing new flavors and baked desserts for Crumbs fans to enjoy. While we’re known for our cupcakes, people are discovering our delicious whoopee pies, brownies, and options for those with dietary restrictions such as nut and dairy free.

Do you have any plans of opening any more stores in the NYC area?
Yes, but no specific locations are confirmed to date. New York City was our first market and we hope to continue to support the local community there while reaching our goal of 200 stores.

What is your best-selling cupcake?
Red velvet.

Are there surprises for Crumbs planned in 2012?
We have a lot of new ideas and new concepts outside the cupcake world we are working on for 2012.

*DISCLOSURE* A big thank you to Crumbs and Mia for this interview. All thoughts and opinions are strictly mine, and all interview answers are courtesy of Mia.

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