01 Nov The EATORIALIST: CUPCAKE CRACK & CRUMBS
CRUMBS BAKE SHOP, is a bakery that ain’t. Ain’t what you ask? Ain’t a bakery because nothing, I repeat, nothing is ever baked at your local Crumbs Bake Shop.
In the world of bakery theme park-like attractions there is something very satisfying to the nostalgia-minded Sensurround you experience at shops like BILLY’S BAKERY and MAGNOLIA BAKERY. While they are both commercial minded bakeries (no baking school grads or mom-and-pop in residence) stop by either of these cupcakeries and, besides lines, you’ll get a fresh baked and traditional-minded cupcake that is pretty to look at and tasty enough to eat. Not so at Crumbs.
Cupcakes arrive at your local Crumbs shop by way of an off-site baking plant. With their displays of abnormally large cupcakes, plastic containers of mini-cupcakes and the freakishly distorted Colossal Cupcakes, Crumbs is nothing more than a gimmicky cupcake outlet.
And then there’s the branding that comes along with these Crumby cupcakes. References to “love”, “handmade” and the “simple things in everyday life” abound. We’re guessing not too simple as there’s no information to be had on what’s in these cakey creations. A call to the main office and chats with counterpersons at a couple of the Crumbs shops left us with nothing beyond the basics – sugar, butter, flour – to what actually goes into these bakes. We also got
the warning that ‘if you’re allergic to anything at all don’t eat these cupcakes’. That’s not very comforting for comfort food and we are definitely not feeling the cupcake love.
So what is it that has so many people hooked? Well, we definitely know the sugar has something to do with it – that’s a given. Along with what must be a bevy of not-so-natural flavorings, sweeteners and who knows what, factor in Crumbs’ Candyland-like decorations (think of elementary schoolers in art class with their Halloween haul) and you’ve got a serious case of Cupcake Crack in the works.
CRUMBS, Multiple Locations Nationwide, www.crumbs.com