Crumbs Bake Shop closes all stores

Display case at the Crumbs Bake Shop on 18th Street. MICHAEL KLEIN /

Crumbs Bake Shop has gone stale.

The nation's largest cupcake bakery announced the closing all of its four dozen stores Monday.

Even in this carb-crazed town, Crumbs crumbled. Its last Philadelphia-area location was in Cherry Hill Mall. At one point - for all of 14 months - Crumbs had a storefront just off Rittenhouse Square; it closed in February. Crumbs also had locations in Christiana Mall, Deptford Mall, King of Prussia, and Suburban Square.

Its specialty was whimsically named, fulsome-topped 4-inch cupcakes (retail: about $4 each).

The Wall Street Journal quoted a statement from the New York-based company that "Crumbs has been forced to cease operations and is immediately attending to the dislocation of its devoted employees while it evaluates its limited remaining options." Among them: bankruptcy.

Crumbs, founded in 2003 by a couple in New York City, expanded to 34 stores in six states as it went public in 2011, picking up a $66 million investment. The goal at the time was an expansion to 200 locations by 2014.

The New York Times reported that as of March 31, the company operated 65 stores in 12 states and in Washington.  In April, trying to reverse substantial slippage, Crumbs announced plans to sell a croissant-doughnut hybrid called the Crumbnut at BJ's Wholesale Clubs.

But by late June, Nasdaq suspended trading of Crumbs.

Ah, the circle of life. Cupcake servings from retail shops were down 8 percent in the year ending April 2014, according to The NPD Group. In 2011 year ending, April cupcakes were up 8 percent.