At Gigi’s Cupcakes, icing is not a garnish. Since that first birthday party where a few guests begged for a rose from the birthday cake, we have known that there are two types of people: those who love the icing, and those who prefer the cake. Gigi’s answers them all with a cupcake custom-made to include equal portions of cake and icing.
If there were a food and entertaining runway, Gigi’s cupcakes would be considered high-fashion. We may find ready-to-wear cupcakes that taste great, but Gigi’s puts equal emphasis on creative combinations and presentation. All of the Gigi’s locations are not only busy serving a weekly menu of cupcakes, they are also formulating new recipes that will, hopefully, be added to the Gigi’s collection. Each cupcake is topped with a tower of elegant icing.
Gina “Gigi” Butler was working part-time and pursuing a singing career in Nashville when, in September 2007, her brother went to New York City and stood in line for two hours at one of New York’s famous cupcake shops. He called his sister while eating Red Velvet Cupcakes in New York and said, “These aren’t as good as yours and mom’s. You should open a cupcake shop in Nashville!” Fast-forward to 2013 and, after taking her brother’s advice, Gigi’s cupcakes now has 84 locations across the country.
The Daily Special
Gigi’s has a unique selection of cupcakes for each day of the week that is consistent throughout all of their locations. If you want to plan ahead, visit their website for a complete daily list of offerings. A new spring menu launched on March 25. The Mojito is one flavor that made its debut in March (available on Tuesdays and Thursdays!) This cupcake has a mint and lime flavor baked with a hint of rum and mojito butter cream frosting. Also, the Candy Bar Crunch, achieved with a Butterfinger candy bar folded into the cake and the icing joined the book of more than 220 cupcake varieties.
Gigi’s was the official Cupcake of the American Country Music Awards 2013
Country Music artists including The Band Perry, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan (pictured below during a recent trip to Gigi’s in Franklin, TN), Kenny Chesney and more enjoyed these delicious treats in Las Vegas, as Gigi’s Cupcakes was chosen as The Official Cupcake of the 2013 ACM Awards.
Gigi’s created a special ACM cupcake that was served at numerous music industry and ACM awards-related parties throughout the weekend. Their cupcakes were also available backstage throughout rehearsals and during the show for everyone to enjoy.
The Very Perry Chocolate Cherry
Throughout the month of April on Fridays and Saturdays, fans of The Band Perry should stop in for a Very Perry Chocolate Cherry cupcake. Gigi’s teamed up Kimberly, Neil and Reid Perry (aka The Band Perry) to celebrate the release of their new CD, Pioneer. The cupcake’s design and flavor were especially inspired by one of their songs, “I’m a Keeper.”
Gigi’s in Memphis
Of Gigi’s nearly 220 national cupcake varieties, close to 100 originated from Memphis. Marilyn Weber, owner of Gigi’s four Mid-South locations, describes her team as an extremely creative group of bakers who love to experiment in the kitchen. Two cupcakes recently invented in Memphis are the Chocolate Chip Cheesecake and the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (available today!), which prompted one customer to ask if the whole cupcake could be dipped in milk.
Marylin is a “cake” lover, but she says many customers not only prefer the icing, they have asked her if they could purchase only the icing to eat! But everyone in the Mid-South, no matter where they live, will not have too far to drive to have their cake and icing, too. East Memphis was Marilyn’s first shop, opened in 2009; next were Germantown and Midtown, and then Cordova. All of them are about the same size, but Weber calls Midtown their “baby store,” a charming bakery on the corner of Union and Belvedere.
In addition to baking fresh cakes Monday through Saturday, Marilyn seeks charitable opportunities for her business to support. During the holidays, Gigi’s conducted a second annual fundraiser for the Mid-South Food Bank, and Gigi’s Memphis just finished a four-week outreach partnership with the Girl Scouts. Cupcakes inspired by the well-known Girl Scout cookie flavors; such as Tagalongs and everyone’s favorite, Thin Mints, were converted into cupcake form for the month of March.
This is one of Gigi’s busiest seasons with Mother’s Day, first communions, graduations, weddings and, according to Marilyn, Professional Administrators Day is another busy one for cupcake orders! But with fresh creative cupcakes on the bakery shelves daily, every day can be a custom-made holiday!
Gigi’s Memphis-area locations:
East Memphis: 4709 Poplar Avenue
Germantown: 9077 Poplar Avenue
Cordova: 2200 N. Germantown Pkwy.
Find out more about Gigi’s at www.gigiscupcakesusa.com. They are open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.