Staff Photo: Rachel Shirey
Merry Margarita, Oreo, Strawberry Shortcake, Texas Milk Chocolate, White Midnight Magic, Caramel Sugar Mama, Lemon Dream Supreme, Banana Split and a kid’s cupcake are among Friday’s most popular selections at Gigi’s Cupcakes in Norcross.
4880 Peachtree Corners Circle, Norcross
• Open Since: June 17
• Location: Gigi’s Cupcakes is located in the Forum in Norcross next to Atlanta Bread Company facing Peachtree Corners Circle.
On the menu
All cupcakes are $3 a piece, and a dozen is $33 plus tax.
• Strawberry Shortcake: White cake with fresh strawberries baked in, topped with strawberry buttercream frosting and red sugar crystals.
• Mellow Cream: Devil’s food cake with dark chocolate chips filled with marshmallow cream, dipped in chocolate ganache and topped with a white curlicue.
• Chocolate Salted Caramel: A special dark chocolate cake filled with caramel, topped with caramel frosting dipped in ganache’ with a pinch of sea salt on top.
• Merry Margarita: Margarita flavored yellow cake with margarita cream cheese frosting, rimmed in sugar crystals and topped with a candied lime slice.
• Texas Milk Chocolate: Milk chocolate cake topped with milk chocolate frosting, chocolate sprinkles and a yellow fondant star.
• Carrot Cake: Carrot cake topped with cream cheese frosting, decorative orange icing and green sugar crystals.
• Hours: Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays through Saturdays and from noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.
• Owners: Deena and Sean Coughlin
• Atmosphere: Deena Coughlin describes the store’s atmosphere as “fun and a little crazy,” aside from being hectic. Her motto is “no matter how crazy it gets, be nice to each other.”
She is impressed with the sense of community the store has provided Peachtree Corners. The store likes to partake in fun activities, like cupcake-eating contests, to bring people together.
“It’s been a little challenging, but so much fun,” Coughlin said. “But you can’t complain working in a cupcake shop. It’s just a fun environment and everyone who comes in here is just happy because you don’t have to be here. It’s not like buying gas.”
• Menu: The menu changes daily depending on special orders, baker’s choice and the season. Coughlin said Gigi’s is known for its signature frosting swirl, which has become an attraction.
“We make all of our decorations, obviously except the little Hershey’s bar, but we make all our decorations in house too,” Coughlin said. “We make every cake, every filling and every frosting homemade, from scratch, every single morning. so that’s why we have to get here so early.”
One of the most popular items on the franchise’s menu is the Wedding Cake cupcake because of its simplicity. It’s white cake topped with vanilla buttercream frosting and sprinkled with white nonpareils.
“It tastes just like a really good moist wedding cake, so I think it appeals to the majority of people because it is very simple and it’s very consistent,” Coughlin said.
The most popular cupcake in the Atlanta market — Sandy Springs, Buckhead and Marietta are the other locations — is the Scarlett’s Red Velvet cupcake. Coughlin thinks it’s a Southern thing.
“We Southern girls love our red velvet cake, and this is a fabulous one with a vanilla filling inside and it’s topped with a cream cheese frosting,” Coughlin said.
Coughlin arrives at Gigi’s Cupcakes every morning between 3:30 and 4 a.m. to start baking cupcakes and mixing frosting before the store opens at 10 a.m.; she doesn’t go home until 11 p.m.
• Things you might not know: The store sold 6,770 cupcakes during its grand opening weekend.