Crumbs builds celebrity fans

Sprinkles has Blake Lively (and others), while Crumbs, according to The Wall Street Journal, has Katie Holmes (did she defect from Billy's Bakery after Billy left?):

Having loyal fans can make it easier for small businesses to do well in tough times but star power can sweeten that hold. Crumbs Bake Shop Inc. got New Yorkers hooked on its $3.75 cupcakes six years ago when it opened its first store in Manhattan, and it works hard to make a Crumbs cupcake an addiction by building a celebrity following.

Crumbs says it recently appeared as the featured business in a "Celebrity Apprentice" episode and counts Katie Holmes, Leonardo DiCaprio and Uma Thurman as some of its regular celebrity clientele.

Now with 22 stores across the U.S., Crumbs sells 200,000 cupcakes each week in the city alone. Foot traffic is "just as strong as ever," says Jason Bauer, president and chief executive. "The fact that it makes people feel good helps us in this economy."