Local investors gobble up Gigi’s Cupcakes, plan Fort Worth store

Gigi’s Cupcakes says it’s the nation’s leading franchise for upscale cupcakes with 100 stores.
Gigi’s Cupcakes says it’s the nation’s leading franchise for upscale cupcakes with 100 stores. Courtesy of FundCorp

A local investment firm is acquiring Gigi’s Cupcakes, the nation’s largest cupcake franchise, with plans for aggressive expansion including a store in Fort Worth.

The deal was announced by FundCorp, a Fort Worth private equity group based on Bailey Avenue that also acquired Gatti’s Pizza last year.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Judy Renfrow was named President and COO of Gigi’s and will manage the chain along with FundCorp Vice Chairman Michael Poates.

In a phone interview, Poates said Gigi’s would move its corporate office from Nashville to Fort Worth and is looking for a location along West Seventh Street as well as in North Richland Hills. About half of the company’s 20-person corporate staff is likely to be retained, he said.

“We are setting sales records as a company and we are very excited to be involved,” said Poates, who previously worked for a large Dairy Queen franchisee and Whataburger and now serves as president of Gatti’s.

Poates said the company also plans to open a Gatti’s Pizza restaurant later this year along West Seventh in Fort Worth, near University Drive in the Cultural District.

Gigi’s was founded in 2008 by Gina “Gigi” Butler in Nashville. The company has more than 100 locations in the U.S., including stores in Southlake, Dallas and Plano. The boutique bakery chain offers a variety of freshly-baked cupcakes, cookies and cakes.

In a prepared statement, Butler said FundCorp would help Gigi’s move into its next phase of growth.

“Sales are at an all-time high and we have new franchisees interested in joining our family, so it was critical that we find someone that not only had the resources and the expertise to take Gigi’s to the next level, but also reflected our Christian values,” said Butler, who will remain the brand’s spokeswoman. “We found that with FundCorp.”

Poates said the new owners believe that Gigi’s can be doubled in size in about five years.

According to its website, FundCorp operates as an investment vehicle for two families that have a 20-year history of investing together. Aside from the food chains, the firm has made investments in energy, financial services, equipment manfacturing, medical distribution, food manufacturing, steel fabrication and real estate. Poates said the families prefer to remain private and unnamed.

Steve Kaskovich: 817-390-7773,, @stevekasko