Thursday is the last day of business for Raleigh’s Gigi’s Cupcakes, the last local franchise of one of the country’s largest cupcake companies.
The Raleigh Gigi’s, owned and operated by Jude Crowell and Rick Setaro, opened nearly a decade ago near Wade Avenue. It was the first North Carolina location of the cupcake brand originally from Nashville, Tenn.
The franchise announced on Facebook Tuesday afternoon that it would close its Oberlin Road location on Thursday, intending to go out with a bang and offer fans last bites of their cupcakes. The demand appeared to be high, as Gigi’s sold out of cupcakes and closed early Wednesday.
“It is with heavy hearts that we must announce that our last day of business will be this Thursday, January 17th,” owners of the cupcake shop posted to Facebook. “It has been an amazing eight years and we thank everyone of our customers for the love, care and support that has been given over that time.
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“Nine years ago, my business partner Jude called with the idea of opening the first Gigi’s Cupcakes in the state of NC. After thinking him insane, I agreed, and our lives have been absolutely crazy ever since. We have been blessed with some of the finest employees and mangers. We could not have done this without them, and we will be forever grateful for their services and the friendships that have developed.”
A message requesting comment from the Raleigh Gigi’s franchise owners was not immediately returned.
Crowell and Setaro once ran two other Triangle Gigi’s Cupcakes franchises, but closed in Chapel Hill in 2014 and in Cary last September.
A location in Brier Creek remains open.
Nationally, Gigi’s Cupcakes appears to be struggling. According to multiple media reports from multiple states, locations have been closing in the past week as the Fort Worth-based company files for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to the Dallas Morning News.
There are about 100 franchise locations in the country, mostly in the Midwest and Southeast, according to the Gigi’s website.
The Raleigh Gigi’s suggested in its Facebook post that some future iteration of the concept could happen.
An employee at the shop said customers with pre-orders had either rescheduled their orders for the last two days of service or accepted a refund. Wedding customers, the employee said, are waiting to see if the shop reopens somewhere else.
While cupcakes once were the hottest dessert trend, we may now be on the other side of the cupcake bubble. Cupcake shops popped up all over the country over the last decade, but in recent years, closings have been more common than ribbon cuttings. Last year the Triangle lost Sugarland Bakery, which specialized in cupcakes, and the Cupcake Bar in downtown Durham.