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Sprinkles looks to a future beyond cupcake bakeries

Sprinkles Cupcakes is well-known for its cupcake ATM and plans to expand its investment in online retail, including a new line of chocolates


Contact-free cupcake ATMS may have put Sprinkles Cupcakes on the map years ago, but the cookie and cupcake bakery is expanding beyond its brick and mortar bakeries and pink ATMS.

As a side effect of the pandemic, the Austin-based, 37-location bakery chain has ramped up direct to consumer offerings (which started shipping in July 2020) and just introduced a line of chocolates made to look like the tops of their famous cupcakes.

“Of course, it’s terrible what we’ve all been through, but we’ve been able to innovate and in fact, comps sales are ahead of 2018 and 2019, not just 2020,” Sprinkles CEO Dan Mesches said.

During the pandemic, they also took the opportunity to revamp the Sprinkles store design for safety and convenience. It began rolling out in Austin earlier this year, with the rollout expected to be completed by the end of the year, with an easy pickup line and brighter colors, in addition to a comfort food restaurant concept called Picnik that’s gluten-free, refined sugar-free and peanut-free.

“We've gone from a company that was really a brick and mortar company, to now we're direct to consumer, we're CPG, we are kicking off our domestic and international franchising, our ATMs are growing, and we’re continuing to grow in airport locations and more,” Mesches said.

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