Smallcakes has closed its Buckhead location
Kansas City-based Smallcakes - A Cupcakery, which opened in Buckhead during the summer of 2011, quietly closed earlier this week. Smallcakes Buckhead was located in the 2900 block of Peachtree Road in a shopping center it shared with Mattress Firm and Raja Indian Restautrant.
The cupcake chain touted an appearance of Food Network's Cupcake Wars, as well as a appearance on The View, among other media coverage. Additionally, the chain was recently named one of USA Today's Top 10 Places to Bite into a Gourmet Cupcake.
Smallcakes was started in 2008 in Kansas City by Augusta, Georgia native Jeff Martin.
Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Beautiful Brands International entered into a partnership with Martin in early 2011 to expand his brand via franchising and via co-branded locations with BBI's FreshBerry frozen yogurt. This partnership was terminated this past fall by Martin after he was reportedly unhappy with the chain's growth.
Today, Smallcakes website reflects there being 27 locations. Of this list, five are labeled as "co-brand" and another five are "coming soon." The Buckhead location is already gone from the website and its facebook page has been deleted.
Since opening in Buckhead, Smallcakes added a number of other locations in Georgia making the Peach State their single largest market. Today their are seven locations open including Marietta, Valdosta, Smyrna, Woodstock, Albany, Augusta, Woodstock, Tifton and an 8th location coming soon to Villa Rica. As you can see though from their locations, the suburbs is where they thrive, not in metro areas like Buckhead with far more competition.
In Buckhead alone there have been three cupcake shop closures in just the past two years. Lenox Cupcakes closed its Phipps Plaza location in 2011, The Great Cupcake Company closed just south of Smallcakes on Peachtree late last year and Cloud 9 closed their location in Lenox Square earlier this year.
Buckhead, however, is still home to a number of other cupcake shops including Gigi's Cupcakes, CamiCakes, and Mae's Bakery, in addition to Sugar Shack, in nearby Brookhaven.
Cupcakes don't seem to be totally dead, however, with plans for at least two well known chains to enter Atlanta in the coming months. Beverly Hills-based Sprinkles and Washington D.C.-based Georgetown Cupcake both plan to open stores in Buckhead. Sprinkles will open a rather large store on the front of Lenox Square. Sources tell me this location will be the first of its kind to offer not only cupcakes and ice cream, but likely cookies and possibly even doughnuts as well! A Sprinkles representave I spoke with recently in Chicago was hopeful the store would carry all the products and that it would be open in time for Thanksgiving, if not sooner.
Georgetown Cupcake will open within the forthcoming Buckhead Atlanta project. It was originally stated that the store would open "Spring 2013" but that clearly did not happen and was likely just a mistake. I'd wager the shop opens sometime in the late second or early third quarter of next year.
New York-based Crumbs Bake Shop previously announced plans for eight locations in Atlanta but those plans have yet to materialize.
Where is your favorite cupcake shop in Atlanta? Do you think Sprinkles is overrated or is it just as good as its promoted to be? What should open in place of Smallcakes in Buckhead? Please share your thoughts below.