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The Manhattan Cupcake Bubble

New Yorkers obsess about three things: Real estate prices, the lousy subway service, and where to find the latest novelty food. From lobster rolls to miniburgers, ramen noodles to meatballs, one of the certainties about life in Manhattan is that cool comfort food fads don't wait around for long. 

Which is why I'm surprised to see the WSJ report that one of the main drivers of the jobs recovery in Gotham is... cupcakes:

David Arrick, founder of Butch Bakery, which bakes and delivers ‘masculine cupcakes’ (varieties include Beer Run, a beer-infused concoction, and Tailgate, a salted caramel flavor) from its commercial kitchen in Long Island City, said he’s gone from a one-man to a five-person operation since opening last November. “Cupcake businesses are the paradox of the recession,” he said. “We are in a recession but yet the cupcake industry is thriving.”

How long can this go on? God only knows. But you have to wonder about an analyst who writes, seemingly with a straight face, the following:

“One segment of the industry that seems to be adding the most outlets is cupcake cafes.  This could be a fad, or not,” Barbara Byrne Denham, chief economist at real-estate services firm Eastern Consolidated, wrote in a report Thursday.

"Could be a fad, or not"? Is she serious? Thanks for this insight Barbara, let me cut you your consultant's cheque. Or would you like to take that in poutine futures?