Message to bakers from bizarre cupcake episode
March 8, 2011
Over the last 25 years, the wholesale baking industry has been adept at co-opting many fads in the retail baking sphere into the branded section of the baking aisle. With a fair degree of success, bakers were able to bring consumers into supermarkets to purchase premium cookies, croissants, muffins, tortillas, bagels and even artisan bread. The industry largely has been AWOL, though, with regard to the surging premium cupcake craze that has raged the last few years. This absence became more obvious in January when the New York-based shop Crumbs announced plans for an initial public offering of stock.
Perhaps even more suggestive of a missed opportunity, though, is an offbeat story from the United Kingdom, picked up in the United States by a columnist for the Peoria Journal Star. It was about a mother who turned destructive at her local bakery when she was told her favorite cupcakes were sold out.
The store owner’s account of the episode follows: “She threw herself on the floor ranting and raving while her children screamed and shouted. Then she came round to my side of the counter and grabbed me by the hair before I could get out of her way. I managed to tear myself free before the woman started smashing glass display units and spilling cakes all over the floor. I’ve never seen anything like it. You expect a certain amount of risk running a bar or a pub but not in a cupcake shop.”
Bakers, don’t you want a piece of this action?