BIZNOTE: Cupcake Royale to ‘eventually close’ West Seattle and other remaining cafés

cupcake(WSB file photo)

Cupcake Royale‘s West Seattle café, long listed for sale, will “eventually” close, as will the mini-chain’s other remaining cafés (the Ballard shop closed earlier this spring). That’s according to an email announcement from owner Jody Hall a short time ago.

In 2003 we opened our doors and pioneered the cupcake craze. It’s been an incredible journey, celebrating life’s big moments and everyday joys. Thank you for being part of our sweet story!

We have some big news and I wanted you to hear it from me first. We’re exploring various options to reinvent ourselves to flourish for the next 20 years. This includes our decision to eventually close our retail cafes and rebuild the business to offer better cupcake pricing, richer compensation for our team, and ability to maintain a sustainable business. It’s a tough but necessary call. ….

Even before this announcement, we had been seeking comment from Hall about the for-sale listing, but she declined to discuss it until she had met with her staff. In addition to urging customers to keep visiting the cafés while they’re open, Hall’s email today says CR is “actively seeking partners for cupcake pick-up locations across Seattle and the Eastside” and she’s also seeking suggestions for “who should fill our shoes” in West Seattle (as well as Madrona and Burien). The West Seattle location, in the city-landmark Campbell Building on the northeast corner of California/Alaska, opened almost exactly 18 years ago – on May 19, 2006.

55 Replies to "BIZNOTE: Cupcake Royale to 'eventually close' West Seattle and other remaining cafés"

  • JustSarah May 21, 2024 (5:57 pm)

    I got this email as well and find it very bittersweet. I was part of the original crew who opened the West Seattle Cupcake Royale. We literally helped paint the floors! It was so much fun getting the space ready and then unveiling on opening night. Krist Novoselic was one of our first customers! I often worked afternoon/evening shifts, and at closing time one colleague and I would swap leftover cupcakes for free drinks at nearby bars (no donation program at the time… the cupcakes either left with us or in the trash). I loved working as a barista there, and Jody was a great proprietor. I moved on in early 2007 to the corporate world, but still treasure those days at CR. 

    Jody is a savvy businessperson and this is likely the right move to keep the underlying business running, but it’s hard to see the locations close and most employees lose those jobs. My thoughts are with the CR family!

  • j May 21, 2024 (6:54 pm)

    Damn!! I love this place and the energy the lovely people working provided 🥺

  • HTB May 21, 2024 (7:26 pm)

    Ugh – why is everyone abandoning the Junction?

    • Anne May 21, 2024 (8:34 pm)

      They’re closing ALL  locations- not just WS.

    • EJ May 21, 2024 (10:15 pm)

      I probably would too. High minimum wage, inflation ballooning the costs to produce goods, lack of free parking in the area, crime… it’s just hard to make it as a small business here.

      • Jon Wright May 21, 2024 (11:51 pm)

        You do know Molly Moon’s and Top Pot are coming, right? So perhaps your narrative is wrong.

        • Jeri May 22, 2024 (5:56 am)

          How is Molly Moons ever going to compete with Husky’s? Ben & Jerry’s couldn’t do it. 

          • Jason May 22, 2024 (9:39 am)

            Molly Moons is better than Husky and B&J for starters…

          • walkerws May 22, 2024 (9:56 am)

            Molly Moons is much much better than Ben & Jerry’s, and also offers vegan options that Husky Deli does not.

          • Chuck May 22, 2024 (10:10 am)

            3 cheers for Husky’s

      • Dunk May 22, 2024 (7:22 am)

        Or perhaps it’s simply that cupcakes were a fad that has largely passed, and now the space will be snapped up by a new business.

        • HTB May 22, 2024 (12:33 pm)

          No it won’t – Haymaker, the old Mexican spot, Pharmaca, wine store, Pho Restaurant, The Lodge and now Cupcake Royale now sitting empty. Not to mention all the vacancies in Admiral, etc.

    • Wsresident May 22, 2024 (7:16 am)

      Everyone? Molly Moons and Top Pot are coming. Far better options! 

  • Janice C May 21, 2024 (8:23 pm)

    So sad to hear this!! Cupcake Royale has THE BEST gluten free cupcake I have ever had. It is a tradition for me every time I am back in town to get myself one as a treat. I hope they remain open through mid-June so I can enjoy my favorite one more time!!!

  • WSresident May 21, 2024 (8:30 pm)

    I’ll be excited for something different on the corner. 

    • Luke May 21, 2024 (8:51 pm)

      A ‘For Lease’ sign no doubt. 

      • Wsresident May 22, 2024 (7:18 am)

        Disagree, the empty spaced get snatched up quickly these days. Industrious, molly moons, to pot- to name a few. 

    • Nitro May 22, 2024 (5:42 am)

      Probably another real estate office. Sigh…

      • Pizza? May 23, 2024 (9:52 am)

        A perfect spot for a walk up pizza slice……

  • Sad Sarah May 21, 2024 (8:44 pm)

    I’m sad to hear this! No more death cake! 

    • Karena May 22, 2024 (8:04 am)

      If I had known during Death Cake Season, I would have stock up.

    • Michelle May 22, 2024 (11:54 am)

      Do not fear… We will be offering death cake next year!! Only available in February! 

  • Also John May 21, 2024 (9:01 pm)

    Nooooooo….I was just there today.   I love their cupcakes.

  • Vanessa May 21, 2024 (9:18 pm)

    I wonder what the monthly rent is there.It must be astronomical. 

    • WSB May 21, 2024 (10:47 pm)

      It’s in the brochure I linked to “listing” in the story. Many commercial listings include all that information.

  • Rar May 21, 2024 (9:57 pm)

    We moved away from Washington State and our old West Seattle neighborhood almost 4 years ago. This story appeared on my feed and it made me want to share my thanks. I ordered my favorite cupcakes from here to be picked up on my birthday 7 years ago. I ended up swinging by to pick them up with my husband on the way to the hospital to deliver our third and final child who was born the next day. We ate them then, in celebration of both our lives. I’ll always remember that. Best of luck on your next venture.

  • K May 21, 2024 (10:02 pm)

    Sorry to see them go! They were one of my favorite hangouts when I first move here and worked nearby. Hoping the best for them in their new format.

  • Robert May 21, 2024 (10:29 pm)

    Sorry to see CR go, but if they’re looking for other suggestions, can someone put in a good bagel shop or Chinese restaurant?

    • Derek May 22, 2024 (1:50 am)

      This corner should be a cafe. I like that it’s not Starbucks and I like that ‘s on a corner. It should be a quaint “Third Place.” I wish it could be Cafe Presse like in Cap Hill once upon a time. Chinese spot would be weird here. 

  • D-Mom May 22, 2024 (6:32 am)

    So sad to hear this!  Not only are they the most delicious gluten free cupcakes available, but sitting in the wooden booth seating with a cappuccino just makes me happy. I will so miss this place. 

  • SeaWalk May 22, 2024 (7:31 am)

    I second the Bagel shop idea. Brilliant.

  • emm May 22, 2024 (9:33 am)

    Gelato or Chinese Please!!! Sorry CR never been a fan.

  • MC May 22, 2024 (9:41 am)

    Jody Hall is such a bright light in our community. She is the definition of generosity and hires good people with the same spirit. Cupcake Royale sponsors countless community events.  When I was handing out “get out the vote” postcards outside the WS store a few years ago, an employee came out and offered me a coffee and later brought out a small table so I could place my cards. When high school kids needed a place to work to organize March For Our Lives, the Capitol Hill location stepped up, and when we needed support for the SEA No Hate benefit concert, Cupcake Royale was there, even before other sponsors. It’s important to shop local and let small business owners know we see their hard work and the way they make our community stronger.  Whatever form CR takes, I hope we can rally to support the endeavor in the same manner that Jody and her crew step up for us. Thank you, Jody. 

    • Michelle Clair May 22, 2024 (12:13 pm)

      Thank you!Long before I worked for Jody , I was a customer & CCR has made a huge difference in this city! We would love to stay.. So please keep coming in! Love our cupcakes, ice cream & beverages! You never know what could happen if the community rally’s behind us! 

  • walkerws May 22, 2024 (9:56 am)

    Sad about this because they make a fantastic vegan cupcake, but if we are being honest the cupcake fad is long over and so this was really inevitable.

  • Erik May 22, 2024 (11:11 am)

    That’s sad. But not unexpected. They’re a nice treat. I went to a birthday the other day that had Cupcake Royale cupcakes at it. I asked how much they cost and was taken back by the price. Kudos to the owner that was able to make a cupcake shop viable for 21 years. Thats real talent!

  • HS May 22, 2024 (11:37 am)

    Excited to hear about your next venture!! I’ve enjoyed many cupcakes at this corner shop – thank you!!

  • WS Guy May 22, 2024 (11:55 am)

    The problem was complacency and a failure to innovate.  They have a cupcake called the Triple Threat. It’s delicious.  But they could easily have added one or two more threats.  I even made some suggestions to the cashier.  But they let it stagnate at three.

  • Keith May 22, 2024 (1:41 pm)

    I know this might be considered blasphemy in the Great Junction Ice Cream Loyalty Contest, but the ice cream at CCR is quite good. I’ll miss grabbing a cup and peoplewatching from the sunny windows or sidewalk.And seconded on Jody Hall being an incredibly generous local business leader and notable supporter of many worthy causes that matter to diverse communities.  If only our tech overlords would follow her example.

  • Gluten full May 22, 2024 (1:56 pm)

    I hope the new business is a pizza joint that also sells doughnuts and ice cream. 

    • D May 23, 2024 (11:30 am)


  • Jennifer Scarlett May 22, 2024 (4:56 pm)

    Always sad to see a local employer downsizing.  CR is down here in South Park, and they seem like good people. Good luck to them in their new direction!   

  • Business Advisor May 22, 2024 (5:32 pm)

    What can we do to help small busienss 

  • Imagine all the people Sharing all the world May 22, 2024 (9:55 pm)

    RIP the gay babycakes!

  • Kmm May 23, 2024 (7:05 am)

    I concur to a bagel shop! Loved Zatz! We often go searching out of WS for bagels and the lines at those bagel places either pop up or small brick and mortar have lines down the block. Yummmmmmm if you know how to do it right. 

    • Elle May 23, 2024 (11:29 am)

      Our family misses Zatz so much. We have to go downtown now to Blazing Bagel, which is fine but not the same. 

  • EO May 23, 2024 (11:28 am)

    Finally! I hate this place. They put Coffee to a Tea with Sugar out of business and their product isn’t even in the same universe as Coffee to a Tea. Dry, flavorless and gross. I’m so glad they’re finally leaving!!!! 

  • Dawn May 23, 2024 (12:18 pm)

    Oh no!!! Cupcake Royale is my go to when I’m tasked with bringing the dessert. Always a crowd pleaser. I will miss them. :(

  • RightPlaceWrongPerson May 23, 2024 (12:57 pm)

    I have long loved Cupcake Royale.  No Trophy for me, ever.  Can’t see a need for another gelato or Chinese place at the Junction. 

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