Gigi’s Cupcakes first opened in Nashville, Tennessee in 2008 and has become a franchise with over 90 stores across the US. The cupcakery is best known for its tall, homemade frosting, in flavors ranging from basic vanilla buttercream to bourbon cream cheese. When you first walk in to a store, the options can be overwhelming. Let me break it down for you.
Gigi’s Cupcakes has over 100 possible flavors, but only 22 are on the year-long menu. 4 additional seasonal flavors are also included, and these change every 3 months. The 22 year-long flavors and 4 seasonal flavors rotate on a daily basis so that 10 flavors are offered each day. Stores also get to choose 1 or more additional flavors each day. You can still get flavors that are not on the menu, but they must be pre-ordered and minimum amounts are required.
Gluten-free cupcakes in white and chocolate are available on Fridays, though some stores are beginning to offer them daily. Other gluten-free flavors can be ordered, but a minimum amount is required, which varies by store. Unfortunately, these gluten-free cupcakes are not recommended for anyone with celiac disease or severe gluten intolerance, as cross-contamination is a possibility.
White and chocolate mini cupcakes are sold daily by the dozen. These are approximately 1 inch wide and 2 inches tall, or often described as “a 2-biter cupcake.” Every flavor can be ordered as minis, but they must be ordered in advance and minimum amounts are required. Mini cupcakes can also be custom-decorated.
Special decorations can be requested, from a specific color of frosting to elaborate fondant decorations. The experience of the cake decorators varies by store, so some will be able to create more complex designs than others. Gender reveal cupcakes, which include a colored filling of blue or pink, are also popular right now.
Baked-from-scratch cookies stuffed with frosting are currently on the menu. 4 flavors are available–Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal, Peanut Butter, and Snickerdoodle–but each flavor may not be available every day.
Mini cheesecakes are available daily, and usually include Classic, Chocolate, and Turtle. Lemon, Cookies & Cream, Raspberry, and other cheesecake flavors are available by request. In my experience, it is best to order cheesecakes at least a day in advance so that you get the flavors you want. These are also the only items that can be shipped from Gigi’s website and are $75 for a box of 12. Cheesecakes are almost the same size as the cupcakes but with less frosting.
Most stores can make 6″ cutting cakes for weddings, and some stores will also make 6″ cakes for birthdays or other occasions. Giant cupcakes that are the size of small cakes are also an option.
Gigi’s merchandise, including aprons, shirts, mugs, and keychains, are available, but stores do not all keep the same items in stock.
Gigi’s Rewards involves either a rewards card or a phone number. If you give a cell phone number, you will receive a text message to see if you want to join the text program. Occasional coupons and discounts are sent by text. With the rewards program, customers receive 1 point for every dollar that is spent (not including tax). Every 50 points is worth $5 off a future order. Points do not expire and can be accumulated for a larger discount, but no more than $50 can be redeemed at a time. Online registration must be completed before points can be redeemed, and 25 extra points are given for registering. A free birthday cupcake is also an extra incentive with the rewards program.
Other Things to Know
If you would rather not decide on flavors in the store, online ordering is available. However, online orders must be placed at least a day in advance. Reward points are not currently earned on online orders.
As franchises, most of the stores are locally owned and have the leeway to make a few decisions on their own. Therefore, some things will differ between stores such as prices, operating hours, minimum requirements for custom orders, and the abilities of the decorators.
Cupcakes will stay fresh for at least a couple of days. They come in cute to-go boxes, but it is recommended that you wrap the box in plastic wrap if you will be keeping it for more than a day. Cupcakes do not need to be refrigerated overnight unless they have a filling inside. Finally, they are larger than cupcakes you would bake at home, so come with a sweet tooth or be ready to share!