by John Boone | Tue., Jul. 8, 2014 12:11 PM
Crumbs (née Crumbs Bake Shop) was born in March of 2003 on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City, to mother Mia Bauer and father Jason Bauer.
Crumbs was a happy, successful child, expanding to nearly 50 stores in 10 states during its youth, at one point becoming the largest cupcake chain in the U.S. In the past few years, Crumbs started to experience troubles. Following a wake of store closures and being delisted from NASDAQ earlier this week, at the end of business day Monday, they closed their doors for good.
"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," the company said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal.
Crumbs is gone, but not forgotten. Crumbs has touched my life and I will always remember it like this: Walking through New York City on a summer day in 2009, a few blocks past the school where they filmed Gossip Girl (we took pictures, because it was my first time in NYC and that's what you're supposed to do), and stumbling upon a cupcake shop that I'd never heard of. It was Crumbs.
Crumbs was a thing of beauty: Real cupcakes. BIG cupcakes. Not the measly, bite-size ones they try to pass off at other cupcake shops. You could get full off of one Crumbs cupcake. There were trays and trays of colorful cupcakes, covered in candy and sprinkles and cookies (FULL OREO COOKIES). I got a Cookies N Creme cupcake and fell in love.
A year later, my best friend—the friend whose home I stayed at when I visited NYC and with whom I discovered Crumbs—sent me a box of their cupcakes for my birthday. To this day, it may be the best present I have ever received, including the gift of life on my first birthday. I told everyone (which, in retrospect, was not smart, as I was then forced to share them). Some time after that, my mom told me she looked into sending me a box of Crumbs for something (another birthday?), but it was too expensive. I know they say you can't put a price tag on love, but apparently you can on friendship: Because now I know my best friend loves me $$$$$$ worth. I ate the Red Velvet cupcake.
I went many years without eating another Crumbs. Not because I didn't want to—I always want to eat a cupcake—but because life gets busy and you never think it won't be there. But I talked about it. Two years ago, on my boyfriend's birthday, I finally brought him to Crumbs (THE Crumbs, that I talked about so much). We got two cupcakes and I brought a little birthday candle and a lighter and we ate them outside on Santa Monica Boulevard. He got a Reese's Peanut Butter cupcake.
Yesterday, I was in my car, driving home from work on the 10, when I heard the news. I had Waze immediately detour me to Santa Monica, for one last visit to Crumbs. As I pulled up in front of the store, I saw the "FOR LEASE" sign in the window. But there was another in L.A.: I detoured even further back to Larchmont Village, where the Crumbs was still open for a few more hours. It was empty (which wasn't surprising, on account of that is the reason they're going out of business). I stood and stared at the cupcake display, trying to decide what my last Crumbs cupcake ever would be. I secretly hoped the Crumbs worker would give me a dozen to take home, because it was their last day and here I was, paying my respects. Open to mourning with them. An open wound, without a cupcake to fill it. They didn't. I finally decided upon two: the Milkshake and the Blackbottom Cheesecake Brownie. I haven't eaten them yet. It's still too soon.
Crumbs always "believed in celebrating the simple everyday things in life. In a world where we move too fast, a cupcake is the exception. They add something so small, and so needed to our lives. Maybe what they really do is remind us that the best things in life really are so simple and easy."
Maybe someday we'll meet again.
Crumbs is survived by Magnolia Bakery and Sprinkles. But really Crumbs >>>>>
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