How The Owner Of BabyCakes Came To Dominate The Gluten-Free Market


This post is part of the "Small Business, Big Ideas" series, in which business leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators share their stories of overcoming obstacles and achieving success. "Small Business, Big Ideas" is sponsored by Chase.

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Erin McKenna had three vegan cupcake recipes, no business background and hardly any money when she signed a lease for her bakery BabyCakes in the up-and-coming Lower East Side neighborhood in Manhattan.

BabyCakes has been making gluten-free, wheat-free, vegan, and kosher cupcakes, donuts, cookies and other baked goods to accommodate any food allergy, before such dietary persuasions as "gluten-free" were a thing.

Since it opened in 2005, BabyCakes has become a staple among cupcake lovers, vegan foodies, and celebrities. It currently sells about 500 cupcakes daily, among other items, in its New York location.

McKenna is not only the executive chef behind every treat, but also the creative force behind the bakery's vintage-looking uniforms, online video series and "devastatingly hip" app.

She has also opened two more stores – one in Los Angeles, and one in Disney World, but the expansion didn't come without the challenges of controlling the quality of product and the business from afar.

Watch below McKenna tells about what she has learned from opening her business with few resources, and managing its growth.

Produced by Kamelia Angelova & Robert Libetti

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