Monday, 7 December 2009

The cupcake effect

From last weeks Telegraph, an article explaining how cupcake cafes are helping the property market get back on its feet.

It’s called the cupcake effect, and it could be happening in a street near you. The candyfloss-pink shopfront gives it away: windows stacked with colourful cakes. Every cupcake is a special occasion, washed down with a mug of foamy cappuccino. It’s the late-Noughties equivalent to a glass of champagne. And if you live near such a shop, there is every reason to celebrate – cupcakes mean higher house prices.

The craze was started by the girls in Sex and the City, but their Magnolia bakery in New York’s West Village wasn’t the first. Sugary cake shops are the post-credit crunch version of the posh deli or gastropub; they bring a feel-good factor to an area, making the surrounding streets more desirable.

“These niche boutique shops add prestige to an area, lending a sense of affluence,” says Muir Morton, of Chesterton Humberts in Kensington.

Of course, it could be that it’s the reverse – cupcake shops target affluent or up-and-coming areas that already have a relatively high footfall.

“It’s a win-win situation. The shops are well positioned for business, and local residents get the pleasure of a quality confectioner in the area,” says James Geddes, of buying agency Property Vision.

But there’s an element of the ridiculous about the cupcake trend; grown men and women lining up to buy boxes of colourful cakes? People buying a house simply because it is near a cake shop? It doesn’t seem cool – or right. A cupcake is not something you need; it is a relatively cheap luxury in a world where luxury has been put into question. Could it be that cupcakes are a hangover from the greedy days of 2007?

Cupcakes - ridiculous?? Hush! I agree that cupcake shops tend to be in more affluent areas - a map of London cupcakeries for example would show you that they aren't many cupcake cafes in areas that aren't full of "yummy mummys" - I can only wish they'd open one near my house, but alas that's highly unlikely. You can read the whole article here.


Anonymous said...

Cupcakes are sort of ridiculous. I mean, I love them and worship them but I don't really understand the hipe that is going on about them at the moment. I mean, come on, it's only a sponge topped with frosting.
(I would love to live nearby Love Bakery, Kings Road)

Manny said...

Unless someone comes up with a fried chicken flavoured cake or gizzard frosting, I'm afraid the chance of a cupcakerie surviving in New Cross is slim! How dare they say cupcakes are ridiculous though!!

I heart cupcakes said...

@Anon - there is a lot of hype about them but I love it :)

@Manny - eugh, but oh so true! I know - the cheek of it :)