Thomasville Times Enterprise

September 4, 2013

SWEET TREAT

Susanne Reynolds
CNHI

THOMASVILLE — Thomasville just got a whole lot sweeter with the opening of its newest cupcakery, “SmallCakes.”

Gus and Beth Walters recently opened a cupcakery franchise created by Jeff Martin, Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” competitor for three seasons.

Martin began his career in the restaurant industry in Atlanta and spent several years in fine dining. He has a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts from Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, S.C. He moved with his wife to Kansas City, Mo., where he bought a couple of franchises. He always wanted a concept of his own, so he began playing around with many ideas before cupcakes consumed him.

Martin started “SmallCakes” about five years ago in Kansas City, Mo. It was a year and a half ago that he began franchising the company, with his best businesses being in the South.

He said, “It’s growing really big in the South. The busiest stores are in south Georgia.”

Martin the store in Thomasville is one of the prettiest in the chain.

“It’s very Southern. We are just excited to be here,” said Martin.

When the Walterses called him about opening up a shop, Martin said he had no idea where Thomasville was located. He told them if they were passionate about it he would help them.

Martin said, “They felt the community was strong enough to hold a franchise like this and they were right. Over the past month, there have been lines of people going out the door. People are very receptive. It’s a great area.”

Martin’s biggest claim to fame is “Cupcake Wars.” He is known as “the guy who forgot to put the pumpkin in the pumpkin cupcake. After going home after the show, he considered “losing” to be one of his greatest successes.

“We have the “pumpkins cupcake” that really made us grow as a company because of when I went on the show and forgot to put the pumpkin in the pumpkin cupcake,” Martin said.

He also remembered when he went home after the show that his hometown began making merchandise for his cupcake business. Some of the merchandise they made were T-shirts and billboards. This is how people began to discover “SmallCakes.”

Much national new was covered for the small company as well. USA Today voted SmallCakes as one of the top ten places to try in the country. They have also been featured on MTV Music Awards.

Martin said, “For Thomasville to have a franchise like this, it’s huge deal for us and Thomasville.”



Reporter Susanne Reynolds can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1826.