Thursday, March 11, 2010

Our experience at Magnolia Bakery

Unfortunately,  NYC is not a city that is high on my frequented city list.  So when I planned a trip down for the weekend, I wanted to check out what the different cupcakeries had to offer. First on my list was the famed Magnolia Bakery. Now with three locations throughout the city, we visited the original in Greenwich Village (down the street from Ms. Bradshaw’s apt).  I was very excited to finally see what the hype was about (and what was worth waiting in line for 20 mins!). As we approached the crowd lined up beside the bakery, our anticipation soon turned to shock when we saw this: 
Yes, that would be a customer who is serving themselves their cupcake. (**Go ahead, gasp in horror, we did!**). This prompted my immediate question: What is the point of going to a cupcakery, if you have to reach for the cupcake yourself ?! Is this not a bakery? Or are we in the local grocery store? I don’t understand how this could be okay! (Obviously, their success is proof that such a system works, but I do not understand how this could be a desirable experience for a customer!)

Not only did I have to come to terms with reaching for my own cupcake, I was disappointed in the available flavors. They had chocolate with vanilla or chocolate frosting, and vanilla with vanilla or chocolate frosting (in beautiful colors, yes), but the lack of equal counterparts (ie Red Velvet), left me wanting more. When I reached the cashier, I inquired innocently if they had other flavors, to which he replied: “Yes, but we’ve been experiencing a high volume ever since this morning. Our other locations may have different flavors”. This left me confused. How does a bakery reference a high volume in regards to why you do not have other flavors? Isn’t it someone’s job in the bakery to make the cakes, therefore reassuring the customers that they will have an ample supply of different varieties at any given point of the day?! I don’t want to be told (after waiting in line and serving myself) that if I went to another location, I would have been given (literally) a different variety of cakes!

I ended up choosing the vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting. I’ve been told the vanilla cakes say a lot about a cupcakery. While it was delicious, the whole experience left a bad taste in my mouth. 
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