Crumbs Bake Shop Closes Remaining Stores


Back in May we learned the 19th Street Crumbs Bake Shop had closed and things weren’t looking good. Now the Wall Street Journal reports:

“Crumbs Bake Shop Inc. notified employees Monday that it would be closing all of its stores at the end of the business day, a spokeswoman for the New York-based cupcake maker said.”

Crumbs remaining DC stores were located at 604 11th Street NW (F Street) and in Union Station.

39 Comment

  • Meh. Feel bad for the employees who lost their jobs, but the cupcakes at crumbs were not all that great. Much rather have a treat from Curbside Cupcakes or G’town Cupcake. So long NYC interlopers….

    • Agree. After being exposed to Sweet Lobby and Georgetown Cupcake, I couldn’t even finish my first and only cupcake from Crumbs. It was greasy and too processed. Not even as good as a grocery store cupcake.

      • maxwell smart

        I don’t get Georgetown Cupcake at all. I’ve had them twice – someone brought them to the office (because there is no way in hell I would stand in that line) – and both times I have thought “this tastes like boxed cake mix with store bought frosting.”

        • Ditto on Georgetown Cupcake. Don’t get the popularity at all. Baked and Wired, on the other hand…

        • Washingtonian did a taste test a couple of years ago, and Gtown Cupcakes scored lower than Giant. Seemed pretty much right to me.

        • Ditto. I think they’re terrible. Much rather have something (whether its a cupcake, or another baked good) from Baked & Wired.

          • So many delicious choices other than cupcakes at Baked and Wired, which is why they’ll survive and flourish while others go down in flames

          • @gee – no kidding. I have a particular weakness for the donut muffins . . . no, the pumpkin ginger bread . . . no, the breakfast biscuits. . . no, the ice cream sandwiches . . . no, really, it’s the breakfast biscuits that are my downfall.

        • Certain flavors of Georgetown cupcakes are better than others. I live in the area and occasionally on a weeknight when there’s no line, I’ll stop in for a salted caramel cupcake, it’s so good. The standard chocolate and vanilla ones are not that special.

          • maxwell smart

            But that’s exactly the thing – if you can’t master the basic flavors and have to rely on masking them with extra stuff, then I don’t have a lot of respect for your product.

        • Good frosting, but the cake is nothing special.

          • Hmn. I actually think their frosting is bland and gross, and the ratio of frosting to cake is way off.

          • maxwell smart

            +1 – Frosting has way too much sugar and tastes like aerosol (although I personally just prefer a cream cheese frosting anyway) and there is way too much of it in comparison to the cupcake.

    • I don’t think this is as much about the quality of Crumbs’ product, or the lack of quality for that matter, as much as it’s about a saturated market for what they are selling. At the end of the day, only so many people are willing to pay a premium for a cupcake. I would not be surprised if the designer burger market takes the next hit.

  • Does my beating heart hear the welcome beginning of the end of the toomanycupcakestores/only some of them good?

  • There was also a Crumbs in LEnfant Plaza…

  • And with that, the final nails are hammered into the “DC cupcake era” coffin… RIP.

  • any possibility of free cupcakes?

  • cupcakes are OVER

    • At this juncture, however, the impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the cupcake market seems likely to be contained. In particular, extra frosted cupcakes to prime customers and regular frosted cupcakes to all classes of customers continue to perform well, with low rates of cupcake burnout.

      Cupcakes are not a bubble!!!

  • Cupcakes can be very delicious. The ones served at Crumbs however, were not. I went once, and I regretted it. Hopefully a real ice cream shop will replace it in Union Station. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to get just a plain old non-yogurt non-gelato cone in this city (not going off topic at all).

    • Well, you do currently have the Ben & Jerry’s shop right next to Crumbs. I’m not a fan of that type of ice cream, but it makes it really unlikely that Crumbs will be replaced by an ice cream shop.

  • Not at all suprised, except that it took this long to happen. There are too many better options for a terrible cupcakery to thrive.

  • This actually makes me sad. For the 2 times a year I indulge on cupcakes, Crumbs was my favorite. They were huge, came in many flavors, and had the frosting surprise in the middle.

  • If I remember correctly, they opened up in DC well after the cupcake trend had begun. I think it’s difficult to succeed in a market like this where you already have several well-known local businesses who basically have the market for cupcakes covered.

  • I wonder why places like this can’t adapt their business model. If cupcakes (done poorly) aren’t working, how about a new treat for us, done splendidly?

  • lovefifteen

    I had a cupcake from Crumbs once. It was so gross.

  • I actually liked that they were more than just cupcakes. Perhaps they went wrong in trying to market themselves as a cupcakery instead of a full-service bakery.

    • Agreed; for example, I liked their cookie selections, particularly the black-and-whites, which were pretty much the only black-and-white cookies outside of NY that I ever really liked. I didn’t like their cupcakes at all.

  • From “Wall Street Killed the Cupcake,” an article in Time Magazine:

    “The pattern is similar: a good product or idea becomes increasingly popular, and investors get moon-eyed about the prospects. At the same time, other operators and investors will swear to you that there’s plenty of room for more than one brand—or that if there isn’t much room, their concept is superior . . .
    If cupcakes were that hard to make, your mom wouldn’t have churned them out on demand.”

    Your best bet is to get into a market early and have enough money to outlast the inevitable onslaught of competitors. Starbucks is not the #1 premium coffee because it makes the best coffee. It’s #1 because you can’t walk 50 feet in most major cities without seeing a Starbucks.

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