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Emerging Brands

Smallcakes cupcake chain is acquired by The Derbyshire Group

The 180-unit brand, which sells cupcakes and ice cream and is largely owned by franchisees, will be led by a new team as it is prepped for growth.
Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery
Photograph: Shutterstock

Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery was acquired by The Derbyshire Group, the chain announced Tuesday.

Smallcakes currently has more than 180 units, the majority of which are owned by franchisees.

A company spokesperson did not immediately respond to a Restaurant Business request for further details of the transaction, including purchase price.

The Derbyshire Group is owned by Ryan Jumonville. The company has also invested in Slim Chickens, Rock and Roll Sushi, Island Wing Company and more, according to a statement.

Smallcakes, which serves cupcakes in signature pink boxes as well as 15 cupcake-inspired ice cream flavors, was founded in 2008 in Overland Park, Kan., by Jeff Martin. The chain offers 18 signature flavors each day, in addition to seasonal offerings such as maple bacon, French toast and pumpkin.

Martin will remain as an “advisor to the company while he pursues new concepts,” the chain said.

Smallcakes’ new owner has assembled a new team to lead the chain, which will be headed by Kendall Hollingsworth.

“I am thrilled to lead and serve the Smallcakes brand as we take it into the future,” Hollingsworth said in a statement.

Smallcakes had $77.1 million in sales in 2020, down 12.7% from the year before, according to data from RB sister firm, Technomic.

The acquisition is the latest in a recent flurry of investments in emerging chains. Last week, fast-casual chain Pincho received a $20 million investment from the Savory Fund, and sandwich brand Ike’s Love and Sandwiches invested in three-unit Nashville hot chicken concept Bangin’ Buns. Last month, one-unit Dirty Bird Fried Chxx scored a $20 million investment from Wags Capital, and fast-growing health-focused chain Playa Bowls got an investment from a pair of private firms.

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