It all started in February 2008 with a little bakery on Broadway and a vision.
Gina “Gigi” Butler was cleaning houses for a living during the day and trying to make it as a musician at night.
One day, her brother, who had just waited in line for two hours at a cupcake shop in New York, told her she needed to open a cupcake bakery in Nashville.
“I was literally cleaning a house at the time, literally cleaning a little tiny bathroom, and I had my gloves on, I looked in the mirror, and I said, ‘You know what? I can do this. I’m not afraid to fail.’ I just went for it.”
Gigi opened her 93rd franchise last week and is about to take her business international. A store will open up in South Korea later this year.
Gigi calls her success “surreal.”
She’s had to take on more of a corporate leadership role nowadays, but she’s made sure that every store across the country still offers that organic, small and sweet southern bakery feel.
“We’re always creating new things, so I’m personally in charge of that,” Gigi explained, “I think that’s what keeps the love and the specialness of it because it’s not just someone else doing the work and I’m in this office now. It’s me with an apron on, here at Broadway, creating things. That’s what keeps us special, and that’s what keeps us alive.”
As for her franchise owners, Gigi says they’re all small business owners trying to create a dream of building a business out of cupcakes.
You can spot a Gigi’s cupcake from a mile away thanks to their high frosting swirl, a skill employees go through training to achieve.
Gigi’s Cupcakes has also expanded, offering a line of coffee, cookies and cheesecakes. There’s even a gluten-free chocolate torte.
For simple recipes to try, visit Gigi’s blog at GigiButler.com.
- Feb. 21, 2013: Gigi’s Cupcakes thanks community for sweet success with free cupcakes
- Sept. 15, 2009: Woman finds sweet success in cupcakes