Following his successful college and NFL career as a cornerback, Jamar Israel (formerly Fletcher) became interested in a new challenge. Because of its commitment to giving back and serving its communities, he and his business partner Dooley Swafford became interested in owning a Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise.

The two recently opened a new location in Chattanooga, Tennessee. “I've always been interested in the food and beverage industry and I had a few franchises in mind,” says Israel. “Dooley and I were discussing the industry and he brought up Gigi’s Cupcakes and told me all about their history in Chattanooga, as it was one of the first locations that opened. The more I researched, the clearer it became that this is what I was supposed to do. Plus, I just love sweets!”

The bakery opened on Saturday, February 8. Gigi’s Cupcakes now operates 70 locations nationwide. Among those is a shop near Austin, Texas owned by another couple of former NFL stars, Brian Orakpo and Michael Griffin.

Gigi’s Cupcakes recently announced that it is teaming up with Food Network star Jason Smith for an exciting multi-year partnership. Smith will serve as the company’s Chief Confectionary Officer and Culinary Advisor, being actively involved in the R&D process over the next five years.