It had been a long time since the NBC program “Saturday Night Live” set the cultural agenda for the nation, but on a December night in 2005 it did just that – and foreshadowed a trend that has finally landed in Beaumont. In the SNL digital short “Lazy Sunday,” Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell made a crosstown Manhattan trip to see the movie “The Chronicles of Narnia,” stopping along the way for some cupcakes at the Magnolia Bakery. The video went viral and helped revive the flagging fortunes of the comedy program – and gave a huge boost to the burgeoning industry centered around that modest dessert staple, the cupcake.
Gigi’s Cupcakes has opened its newest locally owned and operated cupcake shop right here in Beaumont. Gigi’s Cupcakes is a family owned franchise company. Gigi Butler, founder, develops all recipes with her family and other local Gigi’s Cupcakes owners. Since Gigi opened her first store in Nashville over four years ago, Gigi’s Cupcakes has grown to become the nation’s largest cupcake franchise.
Welcoming new and loyal fans alike, the location on Dowlen Road offers Gigi’s signature swirl cupcakes freshly baked on the premises every morning. Each day, the menu will rotate among 33 distinct cupcake varieties. The new shop offers Gigi’s famous cupcakes with favorites such as Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Blackberry Cobbler, Snickerdoodle, Scarlett’s Red Velvet and Chocolate Salted Caramel, just to name a few. Mini-sized versions of cupcakes are available by the dozen daily in assorted varieties. Alongside their cupcakes, they also feature the Gigi’s Cheesecake Collection flavors including Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Lemon, Raspberry, Classic, Cookies and Cream, and Turtle. Perfect for both every day and special occasions, Gigi’s Cupcakes sell for $3.25 each with the Cheesecakes selling for $3.75.
For Beaumont franchisees, getting admitted to the Gigi’s Cupcakes family was no simple process. The three co-owners are a married couple, Marc and Crystal Reed, and their friend Angelique Comeaux.
Marc had worked as a radio producer and nightclub operator while Crystal and Angelique had both enjoyed solid careers in legal administration with area law firms. But the trio was intrigued by the emerging Gigi success story and the knowledge that Beaumont was virgin territory for gourmet cupcakes. After pooling their resources and deciding they had enough to launch a speculative new venture, they took their due diligence to the next level.
“We drove to Nashville and met with company officials, including Gigi herself,” recalled Marc. The two sides met and exchanged information; each seemed to appreciate where the other was coming from. But the deal wasn’t sealed until a Gigi’s representative traveled to Beaumont and inspected the Dowlen Road storefront the local partners were eyeing. Located in the same strip center with Pei Wei, Computer Dimensions and a Cricket phone store, the company official urged them to immediately secure the storefront and the franchise was theirs.