Magnolia & Crumbs Have Sporadic Free Samples; Cupcakes Seem to Be Recession Proof

Banana Pudding From Magnolia Bakery. Photograph from Serious Eats:New York

Earlier today I noted how Cosi was unusually empty at lunchtime… Lunch’er “Adam” checks in to say Magnolia Bakery & Crumbs are having no such problems (and Crumbs did have some free mini cupcakes, as promised):

During lunch, I visited the two new cupcake shops in Midtown. Here is my report… I first hit up Crumbs on Madison between 52+53rd Streets. Although I wouldn’t classify their sampling as “aggressive,” as the manager had promised, there were free mini vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting and rainbow sprinkles on top sitting on a plate next to the registers. Only about 8 cupcakes remained when we arrived. My friend and I each grabbed two in rapid succession, as it was clear the cupcakes wouldn’t last for long. We were correct — in a matter of 3 minutes, all of the cupcakes were gone. We decided to wait it out to see if there would be a new plate put out, but no luck. One woman even walked in and asked for free samples, but was told they were all gone. We made it just in the nick of time! But that victory was short lived…

My next stop (alone this time) was Magnolia on 49th Street and Sixth Avenue. To my chagrin, I was told by the greeter that I had just missed a batch of free brownie samples. He said that samples do come out, but very irregularly, and that it was not worth waiting around for. I milled about, pretending to look at the baked goods, but no dice. I couldn’t score a free sample. I wound up splurging for a small banana pudding — absolutely amazing! The cashier further doused my hopes of a free sample — she said that there are NEVER free samples of cupcakes, and only free samples of brownies if they are cut improperly.

You would never know there was an impending recession — both Crumbs and Magnolia were jam packed.


  • Wow. I hope you feel proud for ‘snagging’ two free samples each, and depriving two other people from having a taste. You da man. Loser.

  • america is filled with such greedy fatso’s.

  • Agreed. They are samples, so that people can “sample” their goods and then buy them with money so that the business can profit off of its work. It isn’t a trough for greedy animals to lurk around while waiting for handouts. Go to a soup kitchen you cheapskate.

  • Hey “FrankieTony,” “Stevenp,” and “digdem” if you have nothing constructive to add, then don’t waste our time posting comments that add nothing to the discussion. I suspect that you’re all just too dumb to post anything of substance.

  • Wow, Alex/Adam, I just held a mirror up to your post.

  • You’re truly a genius, Stevenp. Why didn’t we all come to that conclusion? I’m sick and tired of you wasting everyone’s time here. Go find something better to do.

  • One can tell its Monday.

  • *TWITCH*

  • Rough day, Alex? Can’t figure out how to scroll past comments you don’t like to avoid wasting a few seconds of your oh-so-precious time? I’m enjoying this blog just fine, thanks. Sounds like *you* need to move on.

  • magnolia is sorry excuse for a bakery. their cupcakes are sub-par and the only reason they are still around is because of “sex and the city” reruns. no self-respecting new yorker should eat there – their service is horrible, rude and all of that might, just might be excusable if their cupcakes were any good but you can do much better at buttercup or billy’s in chelsea, which has the best cupcakes in NYC, hands down.

  • What ever happened to efficiency? I understand the Rock location is still new but there is no organization whatsoever. I went on Friday afternoon and all they had were chocolate cupcakes w/ chocolate frosting. Nothing else! How can you not have anything else?? Shouldn’t they anticipate? It’s not like it is their first location. Plus, I don’t know if anyone else has noticed but they always have racks of unfrosted cupcakes. FROST THEM. THEY’RE JUST SITTING THERE. The whole ‘cooling down’ thing is nonsense.

  • Alex – as a restaurant owner, I can tell you that it is incredibly annoying to put samples out for the public and watch some greedy b-stard gobble it all down, denying other potential customers the opportunity to try your food. That being said, it’s great to know that this board has a supreme arbiter of constructive/useless posts. Keep up your sample hoarding as well as your useless police work.

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