Online Baked Goods Brands - Case Studies

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Online Baked Goods Brands - Case Studies

Key Takeaways

  • Tartine Bakery, based in San Francisco, has multiple locations, an online presence, and is a James Beard Award winner for Outstanding Pastry Chef.
  • Carlo's Bakery is most famous for its baker and CEO Buddy Valastro and the TLC show Cake Boss. The bakery has multiple storefronts, a large online presence, and is actually over 100 years old.
  • Popularized in the TV show and subsequent movie Sex in the City, Magnolia Bakery is best known for cupcakes and banana pudding. The bakery currently claims 9 national locations and another 20 franchised international locations.
Tartine Bakery, Carlo's Bakery, and New York based Magnolia Bakery are all independently owned U.S. bakeries that ship baked goods to peoples homes through their website or third party digital marketplace. All three have multiple storefronts in addition to their online presence, are critically acclaimed, and are among the larger independent bakery chains in the United States. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, recent online versus physical store sales data is not available; the large majority of all sales have been online over the past 13 months. Since each of these (and virtually all other online bakeries) are private companies, none of them have published their financials in the public domain, and there is no evidence partial financial data exists in the public domain outside of the estimated revenues, labor costs, and product cost details provided in this report. Finally, basic customer base information is provided and further demographic studies are available in future research. Further details on the research preformed for unidentified information can be found in the Research Strategy section. Company profiles for the three privately owned bakeries are provided below.

Tartine Bakery

  • According to the Social Grabber, bakeries like Tartine focus on a younger target market known as Conscious progressives. Generally, these are younger customers, aged 18 to early thirties and are "searching for new knowledge and impulses in life. As well, they like being good friends and have a variety group of friends, they gather a lot with friends, and a bakery like Tartine is a perfect gathering place."
  • Annual revenues for the bakery are estimated to be between $22.4 million and $31.3 million. It is reported the bakery employs 116 people. More recent reports show there are 146 workers at the bakery's multiple locations.
  • According to Pitchbook, Tartine's executive team includes co-founder and CEO Christopher Jordan, co-founders Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt, as well as CFO Michael Nishi. Bill Chait is reported as the managing partner. Jeannette Rosas is the bakery's director of people operations.
  • There is no information about the bakery's price per unit available in the public domain.
  • Managing Partner Bill Chait stated 50% of gross revenues go toward labor costs. A San Fransisco Chronicle article discussing last years union vote stated the company's financials are closely guarded and not made public.
  • Tartine Bakery's website shows they are active on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, all parts of its social media and online presence. The bakery uses the Goldbelly platform as its online marketplace, which allows customers to purchase bakery goods anywhere in the nation.
  • Their Facebook page has 52,245 followers, 49,643 likes, and 74,623 visits. Viewing their Instagram requires an Instagram account, but their publicly available Instagram data shows 359.3k followers and 1326 posts. In addition, SpeakRJ reports the bakery has uploaded 1,308 Instagram posts, has a .64% engagement rate, 2,000 average likes per post, and projects to have 426,548 followers a year from now.
  • Tartine's LinkedIn page has 1,158 followers.
  • Their website received 99,175 monthly visits, a decrease of 3.42%.

Carlo's Bakery

  • While the bakery's target market is wide-ranging and includes soon to be newlyweds (for the bakery's main product wedding cakes), a prominent customer demographic is fans of the TLC's show Cake Boss.
  • Annual revenue for Carlo's Bakery is estimated to be greater than $10 million, and the company employs approximately 257 people.
  • The bakery's executive team consists of public front-man and CEO Buddy Valastro, as well as Chief Marketing Officer Michael Ciullo.
  • There is no information about the bakery's price per unit available in the public domain. However, it is reported that the bakery sells 24,000 cupcakes every week. In addition, the company recently installed bakery vending machines around the country offering slices of three different kinds of cake at $8.99 each.
  • Operating costs for Carlo's include an estimated $239,971 in payroll expense, according to data provided on their pandemic related PPP loan received in 2020. Since Carlo's Bakery is a limited liability company and privately held, they are not required by law to publicize their financials, and no further operating expenses are available in the public domain.
  • Carlo's Bakery's social media presence includes Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as seen on their website. Their products are sold through Goldbelly marketplace and the bakery's website attracts a monthly unique visitor traffic of 10,276 visitors.
  • The bakery's Facebook paged is followed by a whopping 1,976,167 people, while its Instagram page has over 2.3 million followers. In addition, SpeakRJ reports the bakery has uploaded 3838 Instagram posts, has a .26% engagement rate, 6,000 average likes per post, and projects to have 2,513,962 followers a year from now. Carlo's bakery's Twitter stats are 17,410 followers, 4.5 average retweets, and 50 likes per tweet.

Magnolia Bakery

  • While there is limited information about Magnolia Bakery's target market for its Middle East locations, research did not identify any pertinent information regarding the company's customer base in the United States.
  • Annual revenue for Magnolia Bakery is estimated at $48 million and it employs approximately 277 people.
  • The company's executive team includes CEO Steve Abrams, Chief Baking Officer Bobbie Lloyd, and CFO Gary Kraus. Social Media Manager Lexi Portrait and Vice President of Public Relations Sara Gramling are also part of the bakery's key management.
  • There is no information about the bakery's price per unit available in the public domain.
  • Even though Magnolia Bakery used the PPP loan to cover payroll expenses, no specific labor cost data was provided, and no further data covering operating costs of the bakery are available in the public domain.
  • Magnolia Bakery's extensive social media presence includes Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter and LinkedIn, with links found on their website.
  • The bakery's Facebook page has 277,075 followers while its LinkedIn page has 7,442 followers. In addition, SpeakRJ reports the bakery has uploaded 2513 Instagram posts with 847,000 followers, has a 1.41% engagement rate, 11,000 average likes per post, and projects to have 1,825,668 followers a year from now.
  • Magnolia Bakery's webpage stats include 234,563 monthly visits representing a monthly decrease in growth of -5.46%. Website engagement includes 1.81 page views per visit and a bounce rate of 73.34%.

Research Strategy

A concerted effort was made to research bakeries mostly focused on cookies that meet the requested research criteria. Cookie bakeries such as Gooy On The Inside, Big.Fat.Cookie, and Levain Bakery have very limited information, financial data, and social media statistics available in the public domain. Therefore, research pivoted to the three larger bakeries. Much of the financial data for the bakeries is unavailable in the public domain. Investopedia clearly explains why finding financial data for privately held companies is rare and so difficult. In short, the companies are not required to make the data public and tend to hold the information in close regards. Research also focused on social media's impact on driving traffic to each bakery's website or online marketplace. All publicly available engagement statistics are included. However, no specific sales data was located, which includes research looking for executive interviews or analysis by industry insiders and experts.
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