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Cupcake time for Crumbs Bake Shop

Crumbs Bake Shop - the cupcake baker to the stars - is looking at a soft opening (because that's what a cupcake shop would do, right?) on the afternoon of Monday, Dec. 10 at 133 S. 18th St.

It's a half-block north of Rittenhouse Square in a storefront at 18th and Moravian, across from and Ten Rittenhouse.

Crumbs developed a cult following in NYC after its 2003 founding by a home baker. Then it started to go national, popping up in Beverly Hills, and went public (CRMB). It signed the Philly lease a year and a half ago, but then hard times befell Crumbs. The CEO was replaced a year ago, and now Julian Geiger - who happens to be chairman of clothier Aeropostale and spends a lot of time in the Malvern area - tells me that the outlook is sweeter. "We make a great cupcake, and taste of course is inportant," he said. "But we're about the visual, too. That's how Aeropostale became successful."

Crumbs, which now has a spot in Christiana Mall in Delaware, is searching for another Center City location, as well as new locations in Ardmore, King of Prussia, Cherry Hill, and Deptford - all served from a bakery north of Baltimore.

Crumbs has a make-your-own cupcake bar - an employee builds your toppings - and sells Starbucks beverages.