• 12.13.13

Online Deal Makes 100 Cronuts Available Outside New York

Gourmet food and gifts curator Goldbely has added exactly 100 cronuts to its inventory. Behold, the first startup to leverage the celebrity of a pastry.

Online Deal Makes 100 Cronuts Available Outside New York
[Image: Flickr user YVRBCbro]

Few baked goods have the star power of the cronut. Not quite croissant, not quite doughnut, the hybrid pastry has appeared on Jimmy Fallon Live, been hotly debated in the press, and inspired a global pastry trend. Anderson Cooper wants one on his birthday.


So while other startups are out courting celebrity investors, online gourmet food and gift curator Goldbely set its eyes on signing the Frankenpastry up for its delivery services. And, after six months of negotiations and shipping trials, it has finally succeeded. “This is literally the number one food item people are requesting in the universe,” Goldbely co-founder Joe Ariel told Fast Company.

His company has been allotted exactly 100 cronuts, which it will distribute randomly. Starting at 6:00 PM on Friday, the site will sporadically offer the deal. It might, for instance, be available for one minute and off the next three minutes. The first 50 online customers to visit at the right time will have the opportunity to purchase a package of two cronuts for $10.

Fifty sales aren’t exactly going to make a dent in Goldbely’s bottom line or turn the Soho bakery that sells cronuts, Dominique Ansel, into a worldwide business overnight. But it’s an excellent marketing opportunity for both sides of the equation.

Much of the cronut’s allure is that there are only 300 of them available each day. Considering these usually sell out immediately, there’s clearly enough demand to support a larger business. Chef Dominique Ansel hasn’t made many moves in that direction. “It’s like me asking a doctor, ‘Why can’t you just do more surgeries?’ or asking you guys, ‘Why can’t you just make the magazine twice as long?’” he told Inc. Magazine when they inquired about his expansion plans earlier this year. “We can’t just go from zero cronuts to hundreds of them within one week…I need staff, and equipment, and space. If I can find a way to produce more and it can be just as good, I don’t see a reason why I wouldn’t. But to compromise quality over quantity is not something I’d like to do.”

Making just 100 cronuts available for delivery suggests Ansel is taking the same approach to his online sales.

Update: Goldbely and Dominique Ansel have changed their deal to offer more than 100 cronuts.

About the author

Sarah Kessler is a senior writer at Fast Company, where she writes about the on-demand/gig/sharing "economies" and the future of work.