The bitter end has come to one of America’s sweetest bakery chains.
On Monday, Crumbs Bake Shop announced all its stores would be shut down by the end of the business day, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“Regrettably Crumbs has been forced to cease operations and is immediately attending to the dislocation of its devoted employees while it evaluates its limited remaining options,” said the company in a statement to the news outlet.
A bankruptcy filing may also be on its horizon.
The writing has been on the wall for a while: sales have been crumbling quarter after quarter since Crumbs went public in 2011. Recently, the company was forced to delist from the Nasdaq on July 1 after failing to meet the $2.5-million minimum requirement in stockholder equity, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Nevertheless, employees were still caught off guard by the surprise news they’d be out of jobs by the end of the day.
“Nobody knows anything or what to do, the employees are finding out online or from customers coming in and asking us stuff,” one worker told NY Daily News on the condition of anonymity.
Crumbs was a pioneer in the gourmet cupcake business, bursting onto the scene after opening its first shop in Manhattan’s Upper West Side in 2003. Shortly after, Crumbs developed a cult following.
But in the end, its “irresistible blend of comfort-oriented classics and elegant baked goods” couldn’t save it. CEO Ed Slezak suggested stale sales were due to a combination of its rapid growth and a market oversaturated with businesses offering similar sweets.
“At the heart of it, I think that cupcakes by themselves do not attract enough people every day any longer,” Slezak told CNBC in April. “Maybe when Crumbs was 10 stores, it most certainly did.”
Over the course of a decade, the dessert empire grew to nearly 80 stores across the United States and became regarded as the country’s largest cupcake chain.