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Crust Club.jpg Photo courtesy of Crumbl
Crumbl acquired Crust Club last year and will open its first franchised location March 8.

Why Crumbl acquired pie company Crust Club

Crumbl acquired Crust Club last year and is now ready to franchise the savory and sweet pie company.

Crumbl has made plenty of headlines of late for its meteoric growth, hitting its 1,000th location last month after just six years in business. According to Datassential, Crumbl sales jumped to nearly $985 million from about $390 million from 2021 to 2022.

Extending its footprint and sales aren’t the only way the cookie concept is growing, however.

Last year, Crumbl acquired pie company Crust Club, founded in 2016 in Pleasant Grove, Utah, by husband-and-wife duo Tyler and Valerie Kukahiko. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Crumbl targeted the local, mostly savory pie company because the concept resonated with co-founders Jason McGowan and Sawyer Hemsley, according to Crumbl spokesperson Beth Baty.

“Their mission statement of reclaiming the dinner table closely relates to Crumbl’s mission statement of bringing friends and family together,” Baty said.

Now, Crumbl is ready to franchise its new concept, and the first franchised Crust Club opens March 8 in Logan, Utah. Keslie Carr, a spokesperson for Crust Club, said the company decided to take the franchising route after witnessing the model’s success with Crumbl.

“For the same reason, the owners want to share their success with others and give them the opportunity to bring Crust Club around the nation,” she said.

That said, there are no short-or-long-term goals in place for the soon-to-be-two-unit pie concept yet, but it is unique enough to claim plenty of white space. According to emerging chain data from Technomic, just two concepts seem to play in a similar space – Polly’s Pies and Grand Traverse Pie Company, both of which count around a dozen locations. But both also have menus extending well beyond pies, including sandwiches, salads, soups, and breakfast.

While Crust Club offers casseroles, pastas, and soups, its focus is largely on take-and-bake pies, including its BBQ Mac Pot Pie, chicken pot pie, and ham and cheesy potato pot pie. There’s also a sweet side, including key lime pie, cookies and cream, and apple pie, and there are pie bites, smaller options wrapped in the company’s signature pie crust. Crust Club recently expanded its menu to include personal meals as well, which are available as a take-and-bake option or ready-to-eat.

The menu extension isn’t the only change made at Crust Club post-acquisition; the brand just went through a refresh, anchored by green and charcoal colors and with an emphasis on fresh ingredients and home-cooked meals.

Crust Club also seems to be taking a page from Crumbl’s successful marketing approach, rotating its menu and recently launching a new VIP group with sneak peeks, giveaways and more, for instance.

“All of Crumbl’s learnings will help us grow Crust Club,” Carr said.

Does this mean Crumbl locations could eventually start selling chicken pot pies?

“We’re not sure yet,” Carr said.

For now, the companies are maintaining separate teams and headquarters. It’s also worth asking if Crumbl will add more acquisitions to its roster now that it has its first under its belt.

“Crumbl is always looking to grow and expand into new things, even within our current menu and offerings, so only time will tell,” Baty said.

Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]

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