What started as a baking hobby for Pam Turkin quickly became a successful cupcake business. However, whether or not that success is here to stay remains to be seen. Turkin, the founder of Livonia-based Just Baked, is closing all but four of the company’s shops. The franchise locations in Ann Arbor, Canton, Southfield, and Southgate will remain in operation.
Turkin opened Just Baked in 2008, riding the wave of public interest in gourmet cupcake shops. One year after it opened, the company had annual revenues of $573,606 and employed 10 people. However, the next few years brought unprecedented growth. In 2012 the company enjoyed annual revenues of $3 million, and it employed 70 workers. In 2013, Just Baked appeared in Inc. Magazine as the 1,011th fastest-growing private company in America. Its three-year growth was a staggering 426 percent.
But there may be wider trends at work here.
Despite that recent success, the company is closing seven shops in Michigan and three in Ohio, all corporate-owned. Just Baked’s decision to close most of its shops comes only six months after Crumbs Bake Shop, a New York-based cupcake chain, closed its stores as well.
Closing its corporate locations may give Just Baked some time to determine its new strategy for 2015, but will the company be able to create a successful long-term business plan that’s strong enough to withstand the change in trends?
Is this indeed the end of the gourmet cupcake craze? Sound off on our poll below.