Saturday, October 24, 2020

Gigi's Cupcakes opens shop in East Lansing

April 13, 2016
Grand Ledge resident Melissa Molzon collects cupcakes for customers to eat on April 12, 2016 at Gigi's Cupcakes located at 1020 Trowbridge Rd. in East Lansing.  Molzon says working at Gigi's is her dream job and has always found fun in decorating cupcakes.
Grand Ledge resident Melissa Molzon collects cupcakes for customers to eat on April 12, 2016 at Gigi's Cupcakes located at 1020 Trowbridge Rd. in East Lansing. Molzon says working at Gigi's is her dream job and has always found fun in decorating cupcakes. —
Photo by Emily Elconin | and Emily Elconin The State News

Near South Neighborhood, the latest location of a nationwide franchise with a unique back-story opened its doors.

Gigi’s Cupcakes opened on Trowbridge Road across from Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market and MSU’s South Neighborhood in East Lansing.

Gigi’s is a national baking franchise that began in 2008 “just off music row,” in Nashville, Tenn. and has now grown into more than 100 locations.

The store officially opened its doors Tuesday and its opening was filled with families, friends and excited patrons all ready to indulge in the goodness of a portable dessert cake.

Gina Farhat is the owner of the East Lansing location and said she did a substantial amount of research on the brand, product and location.

She said she chose to involve herself in the company specifically because she was inspired by Gigi’s story and wanted to join in.

With almost $30 left in her bank account, Farhat said, Gigi used her passion for baking and eventually turned it into a national company.

The store on Trowbridge Road is set to be the only Gigi’s Cupcakes location in Michigan, she said. Farhat said a location in Macomb County opened in the past, but didn’t make it.

The opening process has been crazy, but she said she knows the outcome will be worth it.

However, Farhat is confident this store will be different because of the community it is surrounded by.

East Lansing is a “vibrant community” and the perfect context for the store, she said, adding it is full of great people and she wants the store to be a part of that.

“It’s a great space, great area, all I need is a great team,” Farhat said.

Farhat said she thinks she has found just that in a devoted staff of 25 workers, several of whom are students at MSU.

The employees, she added, have already been raving about the company, their experiences, as well as the community’s response to the store’s initial opening.

As an East Lansing native herself, Farhat is confident the local region will draw a significant amount of patrons.

Other officials within the company are also confident in the management, location and the projected performance of the pastry dispensary.

Anthony Bowdry is a director of operations for Gigi’s Cupcakes nationally and helps owners and managers with the logistics of their stores.

He said owners have a love for the community they are in, and there is no exception with Farhat. Customers will embrace the store as well as her touch to the store, he said.

Bowdry pointed out the decor of the store was customized entirely be Farhart and was intended to be “homey” and beckoning to customers in the East Lansing community.

“That’s Gina’s touch,” Bowdry said. “That’s what she does.”

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