Dozen Bake Shop
|Dozen Bake Shop|
|Established||December 26, 2006|
|Closed||September 30, 2013|
|Current owner(s)||Doreen Valentine|
It was founded in late 2006 by James Gray, a graduate of Chicago Culinary Institute. The opening came amid a national cupcake trend, leading Gray to believe that the time was right to open a cupcake-heavy bakery in Pittsburgh, as he believed that the trend had already played out in New York City or Chicago. Andew Twigg was a co-owner with Gray.
The bakery developed a strong brand and a social media presence, using Facebook and Twitter to alert customers of daily specials and other offers. The Twitter account became one of the most popular in Pittsburgh. Dozen Bake Shop is the official cupcake of the Pittsburgh Penguins and their cupcakes are available at the Consol Energy Center.
The first Dozen Bakeshop location, a 700 sq ft (65 m2) storefront, opened in Squirrel Hill on December 26, 2006. During 2007, the bakery made $340,000 in sales. By the end of 2007, the Pittsburgh City Paper named Dozen the "Best place to indulge your sweet tooth."
In January 2008, 1,300 sq ft (120 m2) bakery was opened in Lawrenceville, allowing Dozen to expand into catering. By then, the bakery had 9 employees. During the first half of 2009, two locations opened, a 250 sq ft (23 m2) storefront on Liberty Avenue in Downtown and at the The Andy Warhol Museum on the North Shore. In October 2009, a 555 sq ft (51.6 m2) location opened on Carson Street in the South Side.
In fall 2010, Dozen closed two existing locations, South Side and Squirrel Hill, and opened a new location in Oakland. The Southside location had bad parking and did not mesh well with the bar-heavy ambiance of the neighborhood. The Squirrel Hill location had no room to expand. It was hoped that the Oakland location, with easy access to Pitt and CMU, would be a better fit for the bakery. In early 2011, Dozen Bake Shop was named a Pittsburgh "city favorite" by the New York Post. A "Cupcake Truck," for mobile cupcakery was acquired. A short time later, the business, which by then had 18 to 20 employees, was in trouble and was put up for sale. Sales were down by 50%, from a peak annual revenue of $1 million; loans were coming due. By July 2011, the two remaining locations, Lawrenceville and Oakland were closed after a "farewell" bake sale.
In August 2011, Dozen re-opened under the new ownership of Doreen Valentine, who hired 4 new bakers. According to Valentine, it was not the quality or brand that had failed. Instead, she believed that Dozen had been doomed by too rapid of expansion that left too little capital for operations, a mistake she would not repeat. Megan Hart, a Pittsburgh native who competed in TLC's Reality television contest show Cake Boss: Next Great Baker's 2nd season, joined the staff in February 2012.
In May 2013, the Oakland location was closed and a new location opened in South Hills at Donaldson's Crossroads in Peters Township.
In September 2013, it was announced that all Dozen locations will close by the end of the month.
A sign showing Cupcake of the Day. Note that the Elvis is on Wednesday and the East End Chocolate Stout is Thursday
- Millman, China (July 9, 2011). "Dozen Bake Shop to hold farewell bake sale today". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- McLoone, Sharon (February 4, 2008). "It's Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other". Washington Post (Washington, D.C.). Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- Green, Caralyn (October 7, 2009). "Dozen grants South Side wish: Sweet treats along Carson Street". Pop City. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- Millman, China (July 12, 2009). "Restaurants try out Twitter patter". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- McKay, Gretchen (January 22, 2013). "Penguins' official cupcake". PG Plate (Pittsburgh Post Gazette).
- Baron, Jennifer (January 23, 2008). "Dozen Cupcakes expands with second Pittsburgh location, doubles capacity". Pop City Media. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- Jin, Liyun (July 30, 2009). "Fresh Find: Dozen Cupcakes". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- Bailey, Laurie (March 27, 2008). "Independent bakeries keep customers coming back". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- "Cupcake bouquets abloom with edible roses". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. February 10, 2012. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- "Best place to indulge your sweet tooth". Pittsburgh City Paper. December 31, 2007. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- "Dozen Bake Shop opens South Side location". Pittsburgh Business Times. November 13, 2009. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- "Dozen Bake Shop hopes for payoff from two-for-one move". Pittsburgh Business Times. September 6, 2010. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- Landsel, David (March 28, 2011). "Springtime for Pittsburgh". New York Post (New York City).
- Machosky, Michael (July 8, 2011). "Dozen Bake Shop to close two locations". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- Schooley, Tim (Jul 8, 2011). "Dozen Bake Shop put up for sale". Pittsburgh Business Times. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- Schooley, Tim (August 4, 2011). "Buyer steps forward for Dozen Bakeshop". Pittsburgh Business Times. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- Jones, Susan (January 19, 2012). "Judge eliminates Pittsburgh's 'Next Great Baker'". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- Wetli, Patty (January 16, 2012). "Fritz Pastry Reopens With New Menu, New Direction: Hello Rice Krispies". Roscoe View Journal. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
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