Troubled Ghermez Cupcakes will battle on, founder insists

The founder of four-year-old cupcake chain Ghermez Cupcakes insists the business has not collapsed and will continue to trade, following the appointment of liquidators and the closure of one of its stores.


Ghermez Cupcakes was founded in 2008 by former Wall Street investment banker Ghazaleh Lyari, who is often held up as a pioneer of the cupcake trend and mumpreneur success story.


Late last year, Lyari was invited to act as a mentor for Little Girl Big Dream, a 10-month mentoring program offered to aspiring female entrepreneurs under the age of 35.


However, the fate of her company looks uncertain, following the closure of the Ghermez Cupcakes store in the Sydney suburb of Chatswood last week.


Meanwhile, Bradd Morelli and Andrew Spring of Jirsch Sutherland have been appointed as liquidators of Ghermez Cupcakes.


The liquidators have given notice of a meeting of creditors, to be held next week.


However, Lyari told SmartCompany Ghermez Cupcakes will continue to trade, insisting the business is not going into administration.


“It was structured as a family trust and I am bringing investors on board so the trust is being liquidated,” Lyari said.


With the exception of the Chatswood store, the Ghermez Cupcakes stores will remain trading, Lyari said.


The three remaining stores are located in the Sydney CBD, Bondi Junction and Alexandria.


“We shut down the Chatswood store last week as it was a non-performing store, but it has nothing to do with the business structure,” she said.


“I had to make a pragmatic decision on that and not let the bleeding in one store affect the others… Our strategy is somewhat different to last year, but we are not slowing down.”


Lyari said while she doesn’t have any investors secured as yet, she has scheduled a meeting with a group of investors who are at the due diligence stage.


“Three stores are still operating and we are looking to bring on more capital growth to continue operating in a healthy way,” she said.


Lyari refused to disclose how the remaining stores are performing financially, but says the company has revised plans to open stores in Victoria and Queensland.


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