In 2008, Gina “Gigi” Butler opened a small shop called Gigi’s Cupcakes just off of Music Row in Nashville, Tennessee with $33 in her checking account. Eight years later, Butler is now the Chief Brand Officer of Gigi’s Cupcakes and oversees the 100 plus franchises in the U.S.
CAWLM is excited to welcome Michigan’s first Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise to its new location at 1020 Trowbridge Rd. East Lansing, and even more excited that the franchise will be owned and operated by an East Lansing native – coincidentally named Gina “Gigi” Farhat.
“When I was first looking into the franchise and doing my research, I thought, ‘oh my gosh this is my name, I need to seriously consider this,’” said Farhat.
After growing up in East Lansing and attending school at Albion College, Farhat returned to the area to work for a CPA firm doing financial accounting for small and local businesses. Still working part-time for Rehmann, a CPA firm in Lansing, she felt as though her venture into the cupcake world was somewhat of an “outrageous” jump.
“I was just looking for something new and different,” explained Farhat. “This is almost outrageous compared to CPA work, it’s just so different. After doing the same thing for so long, I needed something new.”
Farhat said that the community has been generally excited and supportive since the storefront opened on April 12. She has a staff of 24 and a manager, Rebecca Rose. The new bakery will provide creative jobs in the food industry for bakers and decorators, as well as part time retail positions for MSU students.
“The cupcakes are beautiful and taste really great,” added Farhat.
In order to do our job properly, our staff at CAWLM sampled one of every flavor at Gigi’s. Let’s just say that we agree with Farhat – the cupcake franchise will be visited frequently by members of our office. Stop by to see for yourself!