Georgetown Cupcake is a cupcake bakery based in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. that has now expanded to 6 other locations nationwide. Sisters Katherine Berman (née Kallinis) and Sophie LaMontagne (née Kallinis) opened the shop in February of 2008.
Growing up in Toronto, Katherine Berman and Sophie LaMontagne learned baking from their Greek grandmother. As kids, their grandmother allowed them to use leftover cake batter to make miniature cakes, such as cupcakes.
Before opening the shop, LaMontagne was working in Boston for a venture capital firm, and Berman worked for Gucci in Toronto. Berman, a graduate of Marymount University and familiar with the Washington DC-area, decided it would be a good place to open a cupcake shop. The sisters financed the shop using their own life savings, along with a small business loan. Their mother and employee, Elaine Kallinis, also helps run the shop.
Berman and LaMontagne opened the shop in Georgetown in February 2008, in a small, white-framed house on Potomac Street. The shop quickly became popular, often running out of cupcakes during the day and then closing up shop until the following day.
By December 2009, Georgetown Cupcake outgrew the location and moved the shop to a new location at the corner of 33rd and M Street NW in Georgetown. Georgetown Cupcake has opened a second location in Bethesda, Maryland, and sells cupcakes online. Recently they have opened in Soho, New York, Newbury St. in Boston, and Los Angeles.
A shop was initially meant to open in Atlanta in Spring of 2013 but as of Summer 2013 Georgetown Cupcakes website still lists the location as "coming soon". Along with these locations the store also ships nationwide. The shop maintains the Potomac Street location for filling mail and special orders, as well as hosting special events such as cupcake decorating parties.
The majority of shipping orders and large projects, however, are filled at their shipping annex located in Sterling, Virginia. On weekends at the M Street location, lines extend out the door and around the corner. Customers consist equally of both tourists and locals.
Georgetown Cupcake offers eighteen flavors daily, including multiple varieties of chocolate, vanilla, and red velvet that are available each day, three seasonal flavors, and other flavors on rotation throughout the week. The cupcakes are baked throughout the day at the shop, and use specially-sourced ingredients such as cocoa from France and vanilla from Madagascar. Each cupcake has roughly 250 calories, except for those with less frosting such as the Chocolate Ganache variety which have approximately 200 calories.
The shop sells an average of 10,000 cupcakes daily, red velvet the top-seller. Each day, Georgetown Cupcake gives away 100 free cupcakes, at each location; they announce the free, not-on-the-menu flavor on Facebook and Twitter, and give them out to the first 100 customers who request them.
During winter and spring of 2010, TLC filmed a reality series at Georgetown Cupcake, shadowing the sisters, telling their story, and aspects of running a small business. The six-part series, titled DC Cupcakes, aired on Fridays in July 2010. The second season began on Friday, February 25, 2011. Georgetown Cupcake is now located in Soho. Berman and LaMontagne have appeared as guests on numerous other television shows, including the Martha Stewart Show, Rachel Ray show, and NBC's Today Show. Due to the popularity of the first series of the show the sisters opened a new shop at Bethesda-Maryland @ 4834 Bethesda Avenue and as a result of the second series they opened up 3 more locations which are as follows:
- SoHo-New York @ 111 Mercer Street
- Boston-Massachusetts @ 83 Newbury Street
- Los Angeles @ 143 S. Robertson Blvd