Sized Up: Johnny Cupcakes, Boston, MA

It may look like a bakery, but its not, and that’s the point. It’s Johnny Cupcakes, a Boston-based retailer and t-shirt design company that aims to redefine the shopping experience along with the basic t-shirt.

Walking into one of their five stores is at once utterly confusing and amazing. Glass refrigerators and display cases you would expect to be filled with cakes and pastries are filled with limited edition, one-of-a-kind design t-shirts and accessories.


Perhaps the most comical sighting are the confused shoppers looking around past the t-shirts and asking where the cupcakes are. News Flash, there aren’t any.

When a product is advertised as 0 Carbs, 0 Sugar, 0 Fat, we naturally tend to shy away from it. However at Johnny Cupcakes it’s more about savoring the designs.

Johnny Cupcakes Big Kid Tee

You’ll find shirt designs that range from their signature logo, a cupcake and crossbones, to takes on iconic logos like Air Jordan and Harley Davidson. There are also classic Johnny Cupcakes designs like a Panda pawing a cupcake or the very popular (but now discontinued) Big Kid t-shirt.

Once a design is produced, and the shirts sell out, that’s it. It’s never produced again, making them highly sought after and difficult to track down. Demand for Johnny Cupcakes shirts isn’t just about the unique designs. All of the company’s shirts are high quality, well made, and best of all, really soft.

Johnny Cupcakes was started by Johnny Earle in 2001 and begin as a joke born out of a nickname from Johnny’s co-workers. Johnny sold t-shirts out of the trunk of his car to his co-workers and customers at the comic book store where he worked. After building his brand and reputation, the first Johnny Cupcakes store located in the beach town of Hull, Massachusetts—Johnny’s home town—opened in 2004. In the years to come, 4 more stores would open including L.A., Boston, Martha’s Vineyard and even across the pond in London.

Sizes range up to 3X and designs are across the board to fit any style. Not seeing what you like in store or online? Head over to their ebay store to browse past t-shirt designs and discontinued accessories. If you’re not a t-shirt kind of guy, check out the Black on Black Cupcake Tie. It’s a guaranteed conversation starter in even the stuffiest of offices.

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