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Magnolia vs. Sprinkles

When Magnolia opens in Block 37, a full-on cupcake war will be waged.

1/5

Magnolia cupcake

2/5

Magnolia cupcake

3/5

Magnolia cupcake

4/5
Photograph: Martha Williams

Sprinkles cupcake

5/5
Photograph: Martha Williams

Sprinkles cupcake

Ready for cupcakes? Chicago sure is. Here's the breakdown of the Magnolia Cupcake vs. Sprinkles battle.

Magnolia Bakery

Est. 1996; Chicago location: 108 N State St (312-346-7777)
Number of locations

8
Number of locations in Dubai

1
Claim of originality

Takes credit for sparking the cupcake craze after it’s featured on a 2000 episode of Sex and the City.
Square feet of Chicago location

3,500
Seating?

Yes
Percentage of business that’s cupcakes

50
Number of cupcake flavors

20+
Price of a lone cupcake

$3–$3.50
Cupcakes for dogs?

No
Number of cupcakes chain sells per day

12,000
Product offshoots

Cookbooks
On the competition
Magnolia owner Steve Abrams
“I really don’t consider someone who sells one product to be a competitor of mine when I sell 60 products. I think we’re the original, we have the brand name. Sprinkles just sells cupcakes, and they seem to do that well.”

Sprinkles Cupcakes

Est. 2005; Chicago location: 50 E Walton St (312-573-1600)
Number of locations

10
Number of locations in Dubai

0
Claim of originality

Claims to be the first “cupcakes-only retail bakery.”
Square feet of Chicago location

2,000
Seating?

No
Percentage of business that’s cupcakes

100
Number of cupcake flavors

50+
Price of a lone cupcake

$3.50
Cupcakes for dogs?

Yes
Number of cupcakes chain sells per day

25,000
Product offshoots

Williams-Sonoma line of cupcake mix
On the competition
Sprinkles owner Candace Nelson
“Magnolia certainly paved the way in terms of cupcakes being chic and hot. We took that concept and spun it on its head, making cupcakes a gourmet delicacy. Magnolia was a full-scale bakery, but there wasn’t anything particularly unique about it.”

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