Popular Bay Area dessert destination Cupcakin’ Bake Shop, with five locations including a newly opened a storefront in the Chase Center, has secured a $600,000 equity investment from small business accelerator ICA Fund to support its expansion outside of California
Oakland, Calif., July 17, 2023— ICA Fund invested $600,000 investment in Cupcakin’ Bake Shop, that will allow the popular, Black-owned business known for its artful, high-quality cupcakes, to open two shops in Atlanta. Cupcakin’ Bake Shop has five stores, with locations in Berkeley, Oakland, and the Chase Center. This equity funding will allow Cupcakin’ Bake Shop to further expand operations, scale efficiently, and continue delighting customers with their charming array of delicious cupcakes.
“The support from ICA Fund comes at a critical juncture in our growth journey," said Cupcakin’ Bake Shop Founder Lila Owens. “This investment will allow us to scale operations and bring our delightful treats to more customers across the Bay Area. The networks, advising and financial support I’ve found through ICA Fund will help us grow while staying true to our values of quality and sustainability.”
The investment from ICA Fund will help Lila achieve her vision of opening additional Cupcakin’ Bake Shop locations. Each shop will uphold the brand’s commitment to sustainable practices and creating good local jobs, aligning with ICA Fund’s social impact milestones.
Starting as a home-based cupcake catering business in 2010, Cupcakin’ Bake Shop quickly gained a devoted following. Lila Owens opened the brick-and-mortar shop in Berkeley in 2014, which was warmly welcomed by the community. The shop’s commitment to using high-quality, sustainable ingredients aligns perfectly with the Bay Area’s eco-friendly culture.
As a graduate of the ICA Fund Accelerator program, our 12-week business accelerator program, Lila has been able to refine her growth strategy and investment readiness. The program’s extensive network of peers and mentors has been instrumental in helping Cupcakin’ Bake Shop navigate the challenges of scaling a small business.
“Cupcakin’ Bake Shop embodies the values and vision we seek in the businesses we support at ICA Fund," said Allison Kelly, CEO of ICA Fund. “Lila’s dedication to quality and her clear growth strategy make Cupcakin’ Bake Shop a shining example of the kind of business that contributes positively to our local economy. We are thrilled to partner with them in this journey of growth and expansion.”
Cupcakin', with more than 70 employees, is committed to creating quality employment. The women-led organization emphasizes diversity with the leadership composed entirely by individuals who identify as people of color. In addition, women comprise nearly 90% of the company’s staff, with 60% of full-time staff identifying as people of color. Notably, Cupcakin' incorporates 15% of its workforce from those with employment barriers.
The investments through ICA Fund were made through our innovative Impact Note, which offers equity-based, debt free funding to businesses that is returned as businesses meet social impact milestones such as creation of good jobs and sustainability. In 2022, ICA invested $2.4 million in local businesses, with 100% of every dollar going to women or people of color. Companies that worked with ICA had a 16% overall job growth, contributing a total of 836 local jobs in the Bay Area.
To request an interview with ICA CEO Allison Kelly or Cupcakin’ Bake Shop Founder Lila Owens, contact Cat Ulrich at (831) 252-0792 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About ICA Fund
ICA Fund accelerates great businesses through mentoring and investments to close the racial and gender wealth gaps. We support small businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area led by founders of color and women by providing capital, coaching, and connections. ICA Fund helps entrepreneurs grow the value of their businesses and create wealth for themselves and their employees, driving toward our vision of an economy that works for all.
Berkeley Cupcake Maven Goes National with 2 New Shops in Atlanta, The San Francisco Standard, September 1, 2023
Cupcakin' Bake Shop Makes a Slam Dunk With the Warriors, Bay Area Telegraph, April 14, 2023
Access to Capital: Cupcakin' Bake Shop, San Francisco Foundation, July 26, 2022