A few months ago, Matt and Allison Robicelli announced plans to leave New York for Baltimore due to rising costs in the city. That's still the plan for now, but today the bakery owners announce that they're planning a whopping 100 new stores globally within the next ten years — including possible locations in New York. Allison and Matt say that they're now working with Fransmart LLC, the same company that's helped franchise expansions for restaurants like the Halal Guys, Mamoun's Falafel, and Calexico. "We knew we would never be able to continue competing in New York City as a small business, so the solution was obvious: become a big business," Allison writes.
Robicelli's will be opening a retail space in Brooklyn sometime in the spring, though it may not be in the same Bay Ridge storefront that they operated for several years. The bakery will also still be opening its Baltimore shops soon, with two to-be-announced locations debuting in the fall. And once things get going in New York, the Robicellis will open more locations in the city that will be supplied by the bakery in Brooklyn.
But the husband-wife team is aiming for a global footprint now. They're going to look at places outside of the U.S. as early as next year, in addition to more locations within the country. Meanwhile, for those who still want to get their Robicelli's cupcake fix, the bakery is still doing delivery and wholesale business through its website.
While the Robicellis will own the new Brooklyn location and the Baltimore ones, the 100 new locations will be franchises, Allison Robicelli says. Fransmart is a consultant that's helping with their network of franchisees and spearheading operations at the new locations. "We're building a new model that focuses on retail — up till now, we've mostly prioritized wholesale, food service, and catering," Allison Robicelli says. Matt and Allison will be guiding the expansion, developing recipes, and helping the franchisees.
Their goal has always been to serve as many people as possible, Allison says:
The night Matt and I met, he asked me what was my ultimate goal as a chef, and I responded "To make millions of people happy". It's the running theme of "The Muppet Movie" which has stuck with me my entire life, even though it sounded silly to just about everyone. It didn't to Matt - it was his dream, too. And so, our partnership in every sense of the word began. Moving to Baltimore was not turning our backs on Brooklyn — it was a lateral move for us to reach that goal.
Stay tuned for more information on the Robicelli's expansion as it becomes available.