Can Cupcake WOM Last?

Can Cupcake WOM Last?

While prowling my new Georgetown neighborhood for fashion finds this past weekend, I stumbled across a darling awning in the distance proclaiming “Georgetown Cupcake“. The cupcake phenomenon that has kept lines formed at Sprinkles in LA and Magnolia in NYC (immortalized in SNL’s Lazy Sunday) has officially reached my new corner of the world.

Georgetown Cupcake

I was technically out searching for a duvet cover, but thought a cupcake break might hit the spot so I crossed the street and noticed a sign on the door:

SOLD OUT – will reopen at 5

Hmm. They must be good if they’re sold out, right? I was so wiped from shopping that I sent my dear husband back at 5 to pick up a few. He found a line so long that he announced the only way he would have waited in it would have been if a private concert with U2 was on the other end. Foiled again.

Sunday, I returned with Blackberry in hand figuring I could read some email while waiting for a cupcake. About 20 minutes in, someone was deciding whether or not to wait and asked “Has anyone actually tasted these cupcakes?“. Only 1 line-waiter had and she assured us they were good, but she was going to try a different flavor this time. A few minutes later, a woman walked by, remarked on the line and said, “Oh! I think the founder was on Martha Stewart this week!” Martha knows cupcakes, right? This will totally be worth it. After waiting for FORTY MINUTES, the proprietors walked out to announce they were sold out again. WHAT?? ARE THE CUPCAKES MADE WITH JOHNNY DEPP’S TEARS OR SOMETHING?

During the week, while the touristas and 8 to 6ers like your humble blogette were safely out of cupcake distance, my husband snuck back to Georgetown Cupcake and procured these as a surprise:


They’re cute. They’re small. They’re cupcakes. Really, thought, the taste and form factor are not remarkable. What’s remarkable is THE LINE. I’d like to tell you that this type of WOM will fade once everyone tries them and realizes that they’re just OK cupcakes, but I can cite at least a dozen food based businesses all over the country as known for their lines than their food (ever visited Pepe’s or Sally’s in New Haven?).

I discussed this with Malcolm @ BzzAgent over lunch on Monday and he noted that we, as a culture, rarely have to wait in line these days. We can handle shopping, ticket purchases (source of my favorite line stories), post office and even many DMV duties virtually these days, so are we just a bunch of lost sheep searching for a line to stand in?

Now that I have had a Georgetown Cupcake, I will not be waiting in any 40 minute lines again. If anything, I am having dreams about turning my house into a cupcake bakery making over-sized cupcakes with unusual fillings in awesome gift boxes that I sell for $8 a pop. Given the nothing more than adequacy of their product, it will be interesting to see if the lines at Georgetown Cupcakes last…And if the Dean & Deluca across the street starts selling killer cupcakes to capitalize on the folks who wont wait in line.

7 Replies to “Can Cupcake WOM Last?”

  1. Magnolia cupcakes taste like dry cornbread with over-buttery frosting on top (you might think there’s no such thing as over-buttery, but there is). Luckily, I have never waited in line for one (someone at work is in charge of that for going-away parties), but had I done so it would have been supremely disappointing. Then there’s a place called Crumbs nearby whose cupcakes are to die for that never has a line at all. It appears we are currently living in a world of the emperor’s new cupcakes.

  2. Great post. I miss concert ticket lines!
    I always wonder about the places with the really long lines. I have had much better luck when I ask a local where to go…where do they frequent?
    Pepe’s is all about the line and the people in it. Great people watching, but for great pizza in New Haven head to other side of town to Modern Pizza.

  3. I honestly believe the cupcakes at Georgetown Cupcake are fabulous to look at, full of quality ingredients, and priced fairly. We order ahead and they are boxed and waiting for our office staff. I think people ought to stop fretting about having to wait and not getting instant gratification. The place is new and like many new things that “catch on” there is a line. But to say their product is not worthy is a gross misstatement. Those cupcakes are wonderful. Our office loves them!

  4. Epic Media Relations does Georgetown Cupcake’s PR. If you are looking for information on how to get your business in the headlines contact them.

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