Specialty Bakeries: The Power of Branding

Image courtesy of Cupcake Royale
 
If you missed the first two parts of our series on specialty bakeries, view them here and here.
 
In many cases, specialty retail bakeries are proving successful by creating a brand that leaves a lasting impression. And with supermarkets, and other food sellers, increasingly opening the door to local brands, specialty bakeries have an opening to cash in.
 
For example, local bakery brands featured at Metropolitan Market’s newest supermarket in Sammamish, Washington, which opened in March, include breads from Grand Central Bakery and Cupcake Royale’s gourmet cupcakes.
 
Seattle favorite Cupcake Royale also builds its brand through community events and supporting great causes. Every April the bakery relaunches its popular Compost Cupcake for a limited time to celebrate Earth Day. The cupcake is a chocolate cake filled with white chocolate, dark chocolate chunks, shredded coconut, oats, and crumbled vanilla cake. It is topped with chocolate frosting and rolled in a crumb topping made of oats, dark chocolate, coffee grounds, and crushed potato chips.
 
This special occasion provides the six-store retailer in Seattle with a unique opportunity to celebrate fun cupcake flavors and raise awareness for a worthy local cause. “We are in this together,” says Nicki Kerbs, Cupcake Royale chief operations officer. “We couldn’t raise this money without the help of our customers. We are so proud of the support that everyone brought to the table in February and in March on behalf of the Immigrant Rights Project and NARAL Pro-Choice.”

For Dean & DeLuca, the 40-year-old company recently implemented a strategy that involves offering more local brands (bakery included) and expanding their fresh food selection to include fresh meats, fresh seafood and fresh produce, marking a turn toward uniqueness in the marketplace.
 
Showcasing gluten-free cookies, cupcakes and mini bundt cakes inside Dean & DeLuca’s Kansas City store, one of the company’s 11 retail food shops in the United States, bakery owner Robin Knight of Emily Kate’s Gluten Free Bakery beams with pride about how far her bakery business has evolved in such a short time.
 
Just two years ago, Knight was gearing up to start Kansas City’s only dedicated gluten-free bakery, in addition to working full time as executive creative director for C3 Creative Consumer Concepts, a marketing and design agency. Now her gluten-free sweets are featured at one of the most iconic international brands in gourmet food, and she loves every minute of it.
 
“It’s so exciting for a national brand like Dean & DeLuca to embrace local bakery brands, and it feels really great to be part of it,” says Wright, who started her bakery after her two daughters were diagnosed with gluten intolerance as teenagers.