Three young alumni open unique eatery in Griffin
Three young, entrepreneurial Kennesaw State University alumni – Sam Dupervil ’11, his wife Brandi Dupervil ’11 and Brittany Jackson ’12 – recently opened a unique eatery in Jackson’s hometown of Griffin, Georgia. The cupcakery and creamery, Smallcakes Griffin, opened for business in early December 2017 before holding its grand opening on Saturday, Jan. 13.
As Kennesaw State students in 2011, the three alumni formed Lavish Affairs, an event planning company. More recently, they decided to go into business together as owners of a Smallcakes franchise, which is off to a great start.
“Over the course of time, we wanted to look at some new, different types of business models and business plans to open up some type of brick-and-mortar shop,” Sam Dupervil said.
With that in mind, the group researched different options and decided on a Smallcakes store in Griffin.
“We were thinking about East Cobb at one point, Conyers and those types of areas, but after looking at the competition, surveying the area and doing an analysis, we decided that Griffin would be a better area to open it up because they really don’t have anything like that in Griffin,” Sam Dupervil said of the shop’s location.
The grand opening was a special event for Smallcakes Griffin that drew several people from the area to the new bakery, located at 1689 North Expressway. Griffin Mayor Rodney McCord and several local leaders from the Griffin-Spalding Chamber of Commerce were some of those in attendance.
“The actual founder of Smallcakes, Jeff Martin, was there and basically friends, family and people from the community who were excited that we were opening up,” Sam Dupervil said of the Jan. 13 event. “We were slammed a good bit of the day and at one point had lines of people going out the door. It was a very well received grand opening and the founder, Jeff Martin, said it was one of the best we had been to this past calendar year.”
In July 2008, Martin started Smallcakes in Kansas City, Missouri. Now, there are more than 200 franchises covering 31 states.
“Business is going really well so far,” Brandi Dupervil said. “People are really excited about the cupcakes and they’re excited that the location has opened up in Griffin. People recognize the Smallcakes brand and other people are just excited that there’s a delicious bakery in town.”
Items available at Smallcakes Griffin include cupcakes, ice cream, cakes and cookies.
“So far, we haven’t been able to keep the red velvet cupcakes on the shelf,” Brandi Dupervil said. “We’ve gotten some traction on our handmade ice cream as well. So in addition to the cupcakes, we’re getting quite a few people coming in and tasting the ice cream.”
Outside of spending time with their businesses and looking at other entrepreneurial opportunities, the three alumni stay very busy with day jobs.
“Brittany works for Ernst and Young as a consultant, and Brandi and I work for the federal government,” Sam Dupervil said.
When they were KSU students just a few years ago, all three alumni performed well in the classroom, took advantage of opportunities and enjoyed their time on the Kennesaw campus.
“For me, I like the fact that Kennesaw had so much going on,” Sam Dupervil said. “We had so many different clubs that we could participate in and it gave you a chance to really look at yourself and what you’re trying to develop as far as leadership is concerned, learning how to advance or whatever you’re interested in, there was a club or a student organization for it.”
Just as they are today, the three young alumni were very ambitious and involved as KSU students.
“While we were at Kennesaw, I was president of the Kennesaw Activities Board and Sam was vice president,” Brandi Dupervil said. “Brittany and I were members of Delta Sigma Theta and Sam is a member of Omega Psi Phi. Through those organizations, we were able to craft our leadership skills, planning skills and organizational skills while managing going to school as well, so that kind of taught us the importance of being able to multitask.”
From Kennesaw State, Brandi Dupervil received a Bachelor of Science in psychology, her husband earned a B.S. in political science and Jackson got her B.S. in communication. Additionally, all three alumni went on to obtain advanced degrees, Sam Dupervil said.
Even with extremely tight schedules these days, the three alumni still find time to stay connected with KSU.
“Brandi and I are season-ticket holders for football and are active alumni,” Sam Dupervil said. “Brandi mentioned that we are members of fraternities and sororities, so we always come back and support those chapters there at Kennesaw State.”
Speaking for the three alumni, Sam Dupervil reflected back on their days of living on the KSU campus.
“We all met at Kennesaw and our dreams started there,” he said. “We were all sitting in Brittany’s living room coming up with things we wanted to do before we were graduates, and it’s great that Kennesaw can help pull people together in that kind of special way. It’s leading to bigger and better things as we get older.”
With the successful opening of Smallcakes Griffin, surely there are bright futures ahead for these young alumni as they continue to grow that business and explore other entrepreneurial opportunities.
For more information about their newest business endeavor, Smallcakes Griffin, please visit smallcakesgriffin.com.