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Starting Sunday, Pittsburgh's cupcake lovers will have two fewer spots to satisfy their cravings.
James Gray and Andrew Twigg, co-owners of Dozen Bake Shop, announced Friday that they are permanently closing their last two locations in Lawrenceville and Oakland.
Six years ago, Dozen Bake Shop was a Squirrel Hill storefront selling whimsical cupcakes. It grew into a local brand with multiple locations and a range of products.
The Pittsburgh Business Times reported on Friday that Mr. Gray has put the bakery up for sale after a substantial decline in business over the last two months forced him to rethink the bakery's future. Also on Friday, the announcement of their decision to close was posted on the Dozen Bake Shop Facebook page.
There were few signs to outsiders that the business was in trouble. On June 28, Dozen Bake Shop announced the hiring of a new head baker and advertised for counter help on its Twitter feed, and it recently launched a mobile cupcake truck.
Dozen's history has been marked by frequent reshuffling of locations. At various times, it has had outposts in Squirrel Hill, Downtown, the South Side and the North Side, as well as Oakland and Lawrenceville.
In the last few years, it has had other financial trouble as well. The business has defaulted on a loan of more than $40,000 from PNC Financial Services Group Inc., and there are several outstanding state tax liens that have not been resolved, according to court records.
Many customers were shocked by the news of the closing, expressing their surprise and disappointment on Dozen's Facebook page.
The Lawrenceville bakery will hold a farewell bake sale today from 9 a.m. until noon with free coffee until it runs out.
Customers who have ordered cupcakes for weddings and parties will be contacted to make other arrangements, according to a post on the bakery's Facebook page. They are working with Vanilla Pastry Studio in East Liberty and the Sugar Cafe in Dormont, both of which sell cupcakes.