For many years, Krista Kook and her husband searched for a business to start together. They wanted the business to be fun, but also align with Krista’s professional network as a vice president at Platinum Bank. They looked at staffing companies, fitness centers and other franchises before finally deciding on cupcakes.
“We liked the values and story of the franchise — and also the product!” Kook said. “Financially, it made sense for my husband to stay working; I was able to leave the bank and focus on this full time. It was a hard decision because I really enjoyed my clients and the people at Platinum. But if we didn’t do it now, we knew we would regret it down the road.”
It’s our honor to introduce you to Gigi’s Cupcakes.
In February 2016, Kook left her position at Platinum after nine years to pursue a Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise in Woodbury. With help from the franchisor and her commercial real estate broker, she identified a location that needed a complete remodel, including tearing up the floor to install plumbing. Kook worked with Platinum to secure a working line of credit for the remodel and set up her business bank accounts. The plan included converting the bank line of credit to an SBA term loan after six months and opening a new operating line of credit. The bakery’s merchant services transactions flow right to the business bank accounts.
“I could have gone straight to SBA financing, but Platinum had another thought. They advised a line of credit to help me get started right away on remodeling. That was great, because the longest piece of the process was submitting permits to the state,” Kook said.
Platinum’s team provides support for the financing and banking needs of the business, but just as importantly they are a cheering squad for Kook. “We will have a retail presence, certainly, but I want my specialty to be business-to-business for client gifts or early morning meetings. I’m already getting calls!”
By the end of September 2016, Gigi’s hired a kitchen manager, a lead baker and front of house manager. Staff got started training and baking…and banking. The first delivery of cupcakes went to Platinum Bank.
“It’s so nice to know I can call and talk directly to the executive team, and not because I used to work there,” Kook said. “Anybody can have that access and support. They are right there to help business owners get started and grow.”