March 9 - New York City based Magnolia Bakery is expanding around the country and boosting employment in the process, an example of a small business feeling confident enough in the economic recovery to add to the work force. Jill Bennett reports.
The recipe for the perfect baked-from-scratch cupcake includes a cup of creativity...and a dollop of pastel buttercream icing. Add in a dash of ambition, a cup of good timing and you have all the makings of a successful business. Magnolia Bakery currently has seven shops and 400 full and part-time employees in the U.S. - with room for more. Bakery President Bobbie Lloyd: SOUNDBITE: BOBBIE LLOYD, PRESIDENT, MAGNOLIA BAKERY (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We are actually hiring. Right now we are looking for bakers, and icers and counter staff. We are somewhat seasonal, I always say that we are always busy, but sometimes ramp up more than others. Obviously the holiday season is very busy and we're coming into our summer season which is always very busy." The warm weather served restaurants well in February...41,000 jobs were added in food services and drinking establishments, part of the 227,000 jobs created in the U.S. economy. It was the third straight month of gains over 200,000. The unemployment rate held steady at 8.3%. Standard and Poor's Economist Beth Ann Bovino: SOUNDBITE: BETH ANN BOVINO, SENIOR ECONOMIST, STANDARD & POOR'S (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We saw both a large jump in household employment and a large jump in people entering the labor force. That's a good combination. That's a very healthy combination because it means people are getting jobs and that's even while people are going into the labor force. So it looks like jobs are starting to appear." Magnolia expects to take its classic American baked goods to more corners of America, particularly in the Midwest and LA - where it recently added shops. It now sells online and, through a franchisee in Dubai, where it has a shop inside the Bloomingdale's store, similar to the one it has in New York. SOUNDBITE: BOBBIE LLOYD, PRESIDENT, MAGNOLIA BAKERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Five years from now I hope that we have 200 locations internationally; you know, somewhere between 50 to 100 in the U-S." Magnolia Bakery is not planning to take down the help wanted signs anytime soon ...as it perfects its recipe for sweeter success. Jill Bennett, Reuters