There was a time—after Sex and the City glorified Magnolia Bakery, and before carbs were universally considered poison—when cupcakes were gold. Today, as a cupcake chain closes its doors, we must ask: Is the golden age of cupcakes over?
I hope so, because how many standalone cupcake stores does a city need? Why not just buy cupcakes at the grocery store bakery counter? The whole cupcake craze was a ridiculous testament to the power of marketing to engender a nationwide culinary fad. It was also unsustainable from the start. I mean, do you always want to be the person bringing in cupcakes to work? Never donuts? Never bagels? Never pie? Never pie???
Last night, Crumbs, a cupcake chain with dozens of locations across 12 states, announced that it's closing down completely. (I admire that in a failing business. Rip that bandaid of frosting right off.) The Wall Street Journal has the clearest explanation you'll find: "Crumbs went public three years ago at the height of the gourmet-cupcake boom. Since then, its financial outlook has grown bleak amid several years of losses, a dwindling cash supply, and a food craze that is petering out."
Crumbs employees, you have our utmost sympathies. We encourage every pie store in the country to hire these laid off Crumbs employees at once, and channel their skills into more useful dessert endeavors. Cupcakes... it's just too much cake.
Together, we can create a more productive future in America. (A future of pie.)