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New York’s iconic Magnolia Bakery is officially under new ownership. Stephen Ross’s RSE Ventures bought the bakery chain from owner Steve Abrams and his investors earlier this year for an undisclosed amount, the Wall Street Journal reports. If you have a sweet spot for Magnolia’s pastel-hued gourmet cupcakes, they may soon be more accessible than ever, as expansion plans for the chain include increased online operations and introducing packaged goods at grocery stores.
Co-founded by Hudson Yards developer Ross and entrepreneur Matt Higgins, RSE already has a stake in Milk Bar, Resy, David Chang’s Momofuku, and other companies in their portfolio that will help take Magnolia into its next chapter. With online sales tripling in 2020, this will be an area of focus for the brand going forward.
Magnolia opened its first brick and mortar location in the West Village in 1996, and catapulted in popularity after being featured on Sex and the City and Saturday Night Live. Now they have storefronts all over the world in cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, Dubai, and Manila. In New York, there are six locations, including a new shop in Columbus Circle and plans to open in Moynihan Train Hall later this year. Higgins suggested that more retail locations — potentially one at Ross’s Hudson Yards — are also on the table.
The new owners might have ambitious plans but there will be continuity as well. Longtime employee and Chief Baking Officer Bobbie Lloyd is staying on in the role of Chief Executive.