Dozen Bake Shop

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Dozen Bake Shop
Dozen Bake Shop logo.png
Restaurant information
Established December 26, 2006 (2006-12-26)
Closed September 30, 2013 (2013-09-30)
Current owner(s) Doreen Valentine
Food type Bakery
City Pittsburgh
State Pennsylvania

Dozen Bake Shop was a bakery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While a variety of baked goods and other dishes were offered, cupcakes were Dozen's specialty and featured product.[1]

It was founded in late 2006 by James Gray, a graduate of Chicago Culinary Institute.[2] 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.[2] Andew Twigg was a co-owner with Gray.[3]

The bakery developed a strong brand and a social media presence, using Facebook and Twitter to alert customers of daily specials and other offers.[4] The Twitter account became one of the most popular in Pittsburgh.[5] Dozen Bake Shop is the official cupcake of the Pittsburgh Penguins and their cupcakes are available at the Consol Energy Center.[6]

The baking philosophy focused on using local sourcing, especially local produce and herbs.[7][8]

The "Elvis" was a featured item; it was a banana cupcake with chocolate hazelnut filling, topped with peanut butter buttercream icing.[9] Baker Megan Hart introduced edible roses in 2012.[10]


The storefront in the Lawrenceville location.

The first Dozen Bakeshop location, a 700 sq ft (65 m2) storefront, opened in Squirrel Hill on December 26, 2006.[2] During 2007, the bakery made $340,000 in sales.[2] By the end of 2007, the Pittsburgh City Paper named Dozen the "Best place to indulge your sweet tooth."[11]

In January 2008, 1,300 sq ft (120 m2) bakery was opened in Lawrenceville, allowing Dozen to expand into catering.[7] By then, the bakery had 9 employees.[9] During the first half of 2009, two locations opened, a 250 sq ft (23 m2) storefront on Liberty Avenue in Downtown and at The Andy Warhol Museum on the North Shore.[8] In October 2009, a 555 sq ft (51.6 m2) location opened on Carson Street in the South Side.[3][12]

In fall 2010, Dozen closed two existing locations, South Side and Squirrel Hill, and opened a new location in Oakland.[13] The Southside location had bad parking and did not mesh well with the bar-heavy ambiance of the neighborhood.[13] 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.[13] In early 2011, Dozen Bake Shop was named a Pittsburgh "city favorite" by the New York Post.[14] A "Cupcake Truck," for mobile cupcakery was acquired.[15] A short time later, the business, which by then had 18 to 20 employees, was in trouble and was put up for sale.[16] Sales were down by 50%, from a peak annual revenue of $1 million; loans were coming due.[16] By July 2011, the two remaining locations, Lawrenceville and Oakland were closed after a "farewell" bake sale.[1]

In August 2011, Dozen re-opened under the new ownership of Doreen Valentine, who hired 4 new bakers.[17] According to Valentine, it was not the quality or brand that had failed.[17] 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.[17] 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.[18]

In May 2013, the Oakland location was closed and a new location opened in South Hills at Donaldson's Crossroads in Peters Township.[19]

In September 2013, it was announced that all Dozen locations will close by the end of the month.[20]

The former owner, James Gray, went on to revive Fritz Pastry in Chicago.[21]



  1. ^ a b Millman, China (July 9, 2011). "Dozen Bake Shop to hold farewell bake sale today". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d 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. 
  3. ^ a b Green, Caralyn (October 7, 2009). "Dozen grants South Side wish: Sweet treats along Carson Street". Pop City. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  4. ^ Jin, Liyun (June 21, 2009). "Businesses using Twitter, Facebook to market goods". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  5. ^ Millman, China (July 12, 2009). "Restaurants try out Twitter patter". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  6. ^ McKay, Gretchen (January 22, 2013). "Penguins' official cupcake". PG Plate. Pittsburgh Post Gazette. 
  7. ^ a b Baron, Jennifer (January 23, 2008). "Dozen Cupcakes expands with second Pittsburgh location, doubles capacity". Pop City. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Jin, Liyun (July 30, 2009). "Fresh Find: Dozen Cupcakes". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Bailey, Laurie (March 27, 2008). "Independent bakeries keep customers coming back". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Cupcake bouquets abloom with edible roses". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. February 10, 2012. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Best place to indulge your sweet tooth". Pittsburgh City Paper. December 31, 2007. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Dozen Bake Shop opens South Side location". Pittsburgh Business Times. November 13, 2009. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c "Dozen Bake Shop hopes for payoff from two-for-one move". Pittsburgh Business Times. September 6, 2010. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  14. ^ Landsel, David (March 28, 2011). "Springtime for Pittsburgh". New York Post. New York City. 
  15. ^ Machosky, Michael (July 8, 2011). "Dozen Bake Shop to close two locations". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Schooley, Tim (Jul 8, 2011). "Dozen Bake Shop put up for sale". Pittsburgh Business Times. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b c Schooley, Tim (August 4, 2011). "Buyer steps forward for Dozen Bakeshop". Pittsburgh Business Times. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  18. ^ Jones, Susan (January 19, 2012). "Judge eliminates Pittsburgh's 'Next Great Baker'". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Dozen closing in Oakland, opening in South Hills". 
  20. ^
  21. ^ Wetli, Patty (January 16, 2012). "Fritz Pastry Reopens With New Menu, New Direction: Hello Rice Krispies". Roscoe View Journal. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°27′51″N 79°57′58″W / 40.46428°N 79.96623°W / 40.46428; -79.96623