What started as a bakery on a quiet little corner in New York City’s Greenwich Village is now somewhat iconic. Magnolia Bakery is everything we look for in a bakery: quaint, cozy, old-fashioned, and baked goods that put your Grandma to shame (sorry, Grams). I had a chance to ask their president, Bobbie Lloyd, a few questions about the iconic bakery and plans for the future.
The Abrams bought Magnolia Bakery in 2007 from the original owner and have expanded from one store to eight! How else has Magnolia changed in the last 5 years since the torch was passed?
Over the past few years, we’ve broadened our menu to include more of our favorite old-fashioned baked goods. We’ve expanded our cupcake menu to offer new flavors like pistachio, PB&J, and flourless chocolate. We’ve also introduced additional cheesecakes, bars, cookies, and pies – many of which are based on recipes passed down from generation to generation.
In addition to baked goods, we’ve developed and offer a range of merchandise, including assorted branded T-shirts and a cap, a beautiful Magnolia Bakery signature tin perfect for gift giving, vintage style aprons, Harney Teas, Magnolia Brand Coffee by the bag, jars of our hand-colored sprinkles, eco-friendly branded tote bags, cupcake tiers, vintage style colored paper straws, and more.
We also now ship a marvelous selection of our cupcakes, cookies, brownies, bars, and crumb cakes nationwide! Our online store launched in December 2011, offering a variety of gift baskets and assortments, in addition to our traditional cupcake, cookie, brownie, and bar packages. You can find more information at magnoliabakery.com.
With an enormous amount of press coverage and endorsements in famous movies like The Devil Wears Prada and celebrities like Katie Holmes frequenting your shop, I think it would be fair to say that Magnolia Bakery is now an iconic part of New York City. But there are hundreds of bakeries and restaurants in NYC. What is it that gives Magnolia that edge?
Patrons come to Magnolia for more than just our baked goods. Many remark that spending time at Magnolia is like “stepping back in time to Grandma’s kitchen.” We’re pleased to offer them a full sensory experience the moment they walk through the door. They watch our cupcakes being iced, smell the pie coming fresh-from-the-oven, and peek at cakes being decorated.
Magnolia Bakery is cherished for classic American desserts and vintage decor. We bake everything by hand, on the premises, in small batches throughout the day. Thus, we are able to offer our customers the freshest handcrafted desserts made from the finest ingredients.
You haven’t really “made” it until you’ve landed on Wikipedia. They claim that you have a 5-year plan to open 120 new stores worldwide. That’s a lofty goal! Will all of those be franchised out? How many new stores are planned for the U.S?
At the moment, we are focused on franchising overseas. In the coming months we will be opening in Japan, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, soon followed by Brazil, Russia and Hong Kong, among others. We also look forward to continuing our expansion in the U.S.
I can imagine that a lot of aspiring bakers would like to get behind the counter at Magnolia. How many people does Magnolia currently employ, and do you receive an insane amount of resumes every month?
We have a wonderful team of bakers, cupcake icers, and cake icers. We couldn’t create our baked goods without them! We currently employ more than 400 people across all of our U.S. locations and receive hundreds of applications a month.
Magnolia has quite an extensive online store that sells and ships everything from your delicious cupcakes to aprons, apparel, and cookbooks. Is all of that merchandise also available in your shops, or only online?
We’re happy to offer our wide selection of merchandise in all of our stores as well. You can find our Magnolia Bakery T-shirts, eco-totes, cookbooks, sprinkle jars, and much more at all of our locations around the world.
What is one of Magnolia’s best sellers—the one thing you can’t seem to keep on the shelves?
Our vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream remain our number one best seller along with red velvet cupcakes as a close second. However, the other star of the bakery is our spectacularly delicious banana pudding. Many people say that it’s so good it must be made with magic! Our customers and staff alike can’t get enough!Pin It