Magnolia Bakery Gets a Recipe for Expansion With Smartsheet

Launching Magnolia Bakery’s franchise opportunity involved a lot of ingredients, and trying to keep track of them all was a challenge. Smartsheet handled the details and helped the team execute the steps with ease.

Avg. read time: 4 min


  • Retail

Organization Size

  • Mid-market (200-1999)


  • North America

Magnolia Bakery Coordinates International Franchise Expansion with Smartsheet

Learn how Magnolia Bakery coordinate franchise stores with Smartsheet.

"The brilliance of Smartsheet is that it was easy for our team to jump right in, and it’s quickly transformed the way we work together."

Amy Tucker

Project Manager

On a corner of Bleecker Street in the West Village of New York City sits the quaint, original Magnolia Bakery. Opened in 1996, Magnolia Bakery is credited with launching the cupcake craze that swept the world over the last decade. Today, their desserts have gained a nationwide audience, thanks to many high-profile movie and television appearances including Sex and the City, The Devil Wears Prada, TODAY, 30 Rock, The Martha Stewart Show, and CNN.

Today, the bakery employs 450 staff and has stores in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Korea, Mexico City, Tokyo, and Dubai. Magnolia Bakery’s five-year plan is to open stores everywhere from Sao Paulo to Qatar. Additionally, the company has an e-commerce fulfillment center in New York which ships desserts nationwide.

Growth Is the Name of the Game

While working with the web design firm Blue Fountain Media, Magnolia Chief Baking Officer Bobbie Lloyd was introduced to Smartsheet. She instantly saw the value in the online collaboration tool, and brought it back to the rest of the team. Amy Tucker, Magnolia Bakery’s Project Manager, was immediately on board.

“As soon as I started working with Smartsheet, I knew that it was an ideal tool to structure our daily operations as well as our franchise model to successfully open Magnolia locations anywhere in the world,” says Tucker.

Franchise Plan Takes Shape

A highly detailed franchise plan is critical to ensuring that every Magnolia Bakery location that opens across the globe has the same homey, quintessential American bakery feel as the Bleecker Street store and that its baked goods look, and taste, up to par. Tucker and her team are able to precisely execute each step with Smartsheet.

Location Scouting

Working with commercial property consultants around the world, location specifics – from building photographs, contracts, and more – are all tracked and shared with the team in NYC.

Store Construction

Tucker and international teams use attachments to share construction plans and building specs. Timelines displayed in Gantt view make it easy for anyone, regardless of location and time zone, to get a quick visual update of construction – if the location is on track or falling behind.

Site Development

Tucker uses Smartsheet to lay out the specifics for every new store – from proper signage to exact floor plans, each detail is documented in Smartsheet. There’s no guesswork required to recreate the Magnolia Bakery brand and atmosphere anywhere in the world.

Product Development

The feel of each new store is just as critical as the taste of the baked goods. The team uses Smartsheet to attach, organize, and collaborate on all of the many important documents including detailed recipes, product photos, display photos, and policies and procedures that outline the company’s baking standards.

Agency Coordination

With each new international location, Magnolia Bakery works with local PR agencies to organize everything from creative, promotional signage and ads, grand opening events, photo opportunities and more. Rather than battle time zone differences, email runaround, and version control, Smartsheet is the hub for all activities and ensures that each new store opening goes off without a hitch.

Driving Efficient Internal Operations

Smartsheet isn’t just a driving force behind Magnolia Bakery’s franchise expansion plan, it’s having an impact across the US operations.

“Smartsheet helps us streamline many of our processes,” explains Tucker. “It’s the driving force behind how leadership at Magnolia Bakery manages their teams. In fact, we won’t start a project or go to a meeting unless there’s a Smartsheet to track it."

“Without a tool like Smartsheet, I couldn’t do this job. It’s saved my life,” continues Tucker. “And as a company – we couldn’t grow without it. That’s how important it is to us.”