Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Maryland Cupcake Wars

Anyone see the Recession Fuels Cupcake Wars article in the Gazette last week? Looks like Maryland cupcake competition is heating up as the Bethesda location of Georgetown Cupcake is coming soon. You can read the whole piece by clicking here, but I’ve taken the main points below for you:
Competition to create — and sell — the ultimate cupcake is heating up in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., region, as the culinary craze gains steam in metropolitan areas, driven by the recession.
Georgetown Cupcake, which jump-started the movement locally in 2008 when it opened a location in Washington, is preparing for its second location in Bethesda this fall.
"We are opening our second shop in response to the overwhelming demand we've had from our customers in Montgomery County," said Sophie LaMontagne, who owns the high-end Georgetown bakery with her sister, Katherine Kallinis. "We think cupcakes have, and will continue to be, an affordable treat, even during recessions."
Cupcake businesses are doing better than most bakeries during the recession because smaller treats tend to sell better during hard times, said Paul Sapienza, vice president of operations for Retail Bakers of America in McLean, Va.
"People like to award themselves with little treats that don't cost much," Sapienza said.
Competition in Bethesda is growing stiff with the arrival of Georgetown Cupcake, which sells thousands of cupcakes each day and employs more than 60 part-time workers at its current location, LaMontagne said.
The renewed interest in cupcakes has brought in many customers who order cupcakes in lieu of traditional wedding cakes, she said.
Not too far from Georgetown Cupcake's proposed site in downtown Bethesda, Leslie Goldman-Poyourow is using the cupcake allure to supplement her creative cake shop, Cakes by Leslie. She said customers are often coming in to sample the miniature treats and then buying party cakes, too.
"I think that people are so used to eating very low-quality food in general, and around here, there's not that many great bakeries. Some of these new places actually have a great taste, but they have to keep the quality up," she said.
Goldman-Poyourow, who has owned her cake shop for 14 years and just moved it from Gaithersburg in October, said the cupcake market is becoming oversaturated, with many people "hyper-focused" on them. She suspects the trend may die down soon, with Maryland on the tail end of the craze.
"There will always be something new," she said.


veggievixen said...

yum, cupcakes.

K said...

I am WAY too excited for Georgetown Cupcakes to open in Bethesda- so much closer, and I don't have to worry about crazy Georgetown traffic/parking!

Danielle said...

yea! Hopefully the space will be bigger than Georgetown' less of a line!