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The Cupcake Girls open their first Toronto shop

(Images: Courtesy Cupcakes)

The first Toronto franchise of the popular Vancouver-based Cupcakes chain had its grand opening yesterday in Leaside, until now a relative cupcake desert. Heather White and Lori Joyce launched their original Denman Street shop in 2002 at the beginning of the current boom in frosted mini cakes, before turning themselves into an international brand with the drama-laden W Network series The Cupcake Girls (there’s even an episode about scouting for locations in Toronto). The Leaside store is in a new small-box shopping centre on the former Laird Drive railway lands. In addition to cupcakes, the shop also sells full-sized cakes, ice cream and, naturally, a full complement of Cupcakes-branded gear like t-shirts, aprons and flavoured lip balm.

Cupcakes, 85 Laird Dr., 416-287-2253,, @cupcakesleaside

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  • disqus_At8AtVnFpv

    Horrible !!! I waited for so long for this shop to open….finally drove past and seeing it was, happily went in. Just one other customer entered at the same time. Several girls behind the counter and yet only ONE could talk to us (at a time!) So the other lady is asking all kinds of questions about flavours, etc. while I am standing waiting to be served, and all those girls putting boxes together, etc not one of them could step up and say ‘welcome – may I help you?’. and this after they’d been open an entire week ! My daughter went in two days later and had the same experience. Totally disorganized – and as for PR – surly attitude from the girl ‘serving’. The Longos cupcakes just behind this store are fabulous and nearly half the price – with smiling delighted staff happy to serve you and you are never left standing waiting. Ladies – love your show but you’d better get out here and mind your staff or you’re just not going to make it here in this highly competitive niche market.

  • Guest

    Great marketing, not-so-great cupcakes.
    I bought a half dozen on Valentine’s day. The store was super busy and there was a line curling up in the store. One girl was taking orders, while the remainder of the staff was scattered around; some were in the back decorating cupcakes, one was putting fresh cupcakes out, one was folding boxes, and one was on cash. On such a busy day, the selection was not too great… Only about 4 cupcake choices to choose from (chocolate/chocolate, vanilla/vanilla, red velvet [ew], caramel). I thought the cupcakes would be great since they are so well-known, but that was not the case. Out of my 6 cupcakes, I ate half of one, threw the other half out, and left the rest in my kitchen for anyone else to finish off. The next day, the remaining cupcakes were all picked at, but none had been finished entirely; they definitely were not worth the extra calories.

  • Guest1

    Reading the comments I honestly feel you are overreacting! since the store opened I’ve been there almost every week. I have a culinary school background and they are good! I’ve tried many many different cupcakes here in Toronto and none of them have been as good as this ones. Just one time had a koo koo that was not well baked, which is something that considering it was recently opened I could pass on because I understand how hard it is to open a business of this kind. Yes, they might need to work in having all the time cupcake variety and a little bit in the customer service area (and I say a little bit because maybe is just about getting the hang of the whole thing) but they were really nice to me, I wanted the chocolate cupcake.. which is my favorite and they didn’t had any on display and they were kind enough to check if they had cupcakes and some icing and they were able to give me 5 out of the 6 I would have actually purchased. Sometimes customers are mean or give attitude to the people working there and they of course are not going to feel like they want to help you… and I say this because I worked in several food related businesses.
    Oh.. and about longos…. every time there is a birthday in my office I’m the one that goes there and get a cake, and they are always busy baking a million cakes and bread and stuff, that it takes me quite a while for them to even come up to me to ask me what I need. At the end Longo’s is a supermarket and their quality will never be as the one of a bakery

  • Superfetch

    I was at this location recently; as for the hostess, all I can say is she was odd. She was giving me attitude for picking out six cupcakes (why put them in a showcase and then ask which ones I want?). I found the cupcakes, anything other then vanilla or chocolate to be delightful! … but the basic flavors were gnarly, dry, crumby … same for the icing. If there was a flavour (like the mocha or lemon drop) it was great, otherwise they were so incredibly sweet that they became unpalatable. To be honest, I went in because I recognized the sign and logo from the show on W and I’m rather disappointed.

  • cupcakefannomore

    I have a suggestion for the owners of the Toronto store: maybe you should display your store hours on the website and on your door so that people don’t show up and get disappointed. I sat in TIm Hortons with my husband and saw a few people show up, try to open the door, and then leave. How hard is it to post store hours? I called the Toronto store’s phone number to find out the store hours and the woman who answered seemed to be inconvenienced by me calling.

  • Jennifer Weese

    They’re cupcakes people!!!!

  • Kay

    For goodness sake, they’re only cupcakes!!! So why the attitude? Went by to pick up something for Mother’s Day, and saw two customers in the shop already, but the door was locked. The girl bothered to open the door for me, but told me to come back in an hour because she was “behind” and they don’t open until 12:00 noon!! Really??? You already have customers in your store, and the cupcakes are sitting in their displays. How hard is it to box up a dozen and ring in the cash register? I think you’d better rethink your business plan! Needless to say, I did not return, and don’t think that I ever will. There are a lot of bakeries out there that care about their customers. (Not to mention, it’s not that hard to bake a cupcake!!)

  • justme

    from reading some comments seems like some people don’t care where their money goes!! And service, just goes to show anyone can get a job and prolly a bonus if you just know how to stand around. We are the customers and without us they are nothing … best they keep that in mind !!

  • someonewhoactullyknows

    You idiots complain WAY to much, get a life. Okay, as for the people who say the staff was rude, maybe your rude! Workers are people to. And yeah, maybe on a busy day just like EVERY other store,restaurant, or bakery..your are going to have to wait your turn, dont complain about it and make the company look bad because the world doesnt revolve around you and your schedule. Their cupcakes are amazing, and the designs are beautiful. If you have nothing nice to say dont say anything. Being critical is okay, being rude and self absorbed in your own self opinion is not…Why someone may ask? Because no one cares that you had to wait in line, or you thought the girl was rude(she’s busy your inpatient..long day), when they open is when they open, and if your picky then shush it cuz no one care, and if you think the cupcakes suck…you have no taste buds.AND no disqus_At8atVnFpv the cupcakes are not horrible.

  • pwebb94

    I think your missing the point Jennifer, yes they are just cupcakes but these two ladies that owe this franchise have a TV show and go on and one how important customer service and their products are and it appears that isn’t the case so that’s why its a big deal. So these ladies are full of it. Customer service in general is so bad now people have got to post on message boards like this and don’t return to places that don’t care about their customers because some one will always come alone to provide good service.