The Collapse of the Cupcakery and Why It’s Important to Your Niche Business
Today while perusing the Washington Post I saw a familiar face peering behind his storefront door with the headline “CakeLove to close its last store as our fondness for cupcakes fades.” I remember catching Warren Brown on the Food network and rushing to grab his cook book to support him. I am a great baker (from a box), but my childhood memories of baking with my grandma surfaced paging through his recipes measuring baking powder and creating icing from scratch.
My heart dipped a bit reading the article and noticing that Brown, along with the ever popular Georgetown Cupcake, Sprinkles, and Baked & Wired were all closing their storefronts. Just weeks ago, I rode by Philly Cupcake and saw loads of cupcake pans, mixers, stands, and the like outside on the pavement for sale. What was once a booming craze has come to almost a sudden halt.
Niche businesses are historically more successful than general practices because of their ability to focus and stay engaged with their specific customer set. You’re able to really hone in on quality and be innovate without having to consider broad appeal. So why is this not the case for the cupcake industry?
There are a couple factors you should take into consideration when starting a niche business.
1. Type of Market: Is what you’re creating a specialty market or deemed recession proof?
2. Needs vs. Wants: Is what you’re providing a need or a want? Are you solving a problem?
3. Re-Invention: When/If the market turns, how can you modify your offerings to keep your business afloat and on trend?
Analyzing the questions above is a sure way to protect your niche business and assist you in creating long term strides. Fads are great, but be prepared with the tide turns and consumers are on to the next big thing. If you want a sustainable niche business, ensure you’re creating something that can adjust if the market turns and that solves a problem for your specific segment.