Crumbs, a chain of premium cupcake shops, first opened on Manhattan’s Upper West Side in 2003. Jason and Mia Bauer started it, and its first location was even kosher certified. The chain did so well that it issued stock in 2011; the cupcake craze buoyed the stock price, … until it didn’t.
Earlier this year, on July 11, with lower revenues, higher growing expenses, four dozen locations, and increasing losses ($23 million in losses over two years), the chain closed. (In April 2014, it had 65 locations, 165 full-time employees, and about $14 million in outstanding debts)
Enter Marcus Lemonis, the Beirut-born, 40 year old successful entrepreneur and star of “The Profit,” a reality show on CNBC in which Lemonis invests or buys failing companies and turns them around. For some reason – or maybe it is just me – many of the failing businesses happen to be run by people with Jewish names.
Lemonis, bought the shuttered Crumbs for about $6.5 million, or the cost of about 1.7 million cupcakes. His plan for succcess? Challahs.
Yes, the new chain, which re-opened its Herald Square/Manhattan location over Sukkot, will offer challahs in addition to cupcakes. It will be positioned as a bake shop, and will not rely solely on cupcakes.
Also, ice cream. His partner in the venture (Lemonis Fischer Acquisition Co.) is Oklahoma based Fischer Investments, which owns a line of frozen ice cream novelties. These will be sold in the shops, along with other baked goods and desserts and a line of Crumbs-branded ice cream. Also to be sold is a bagel-croissant – a Baissant.