Former NFL player opens cupcake store in Chattanooga

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Former NFL player opening a Gigi's Cupcakes in Chattanooga (Image: Gigi's Cupcakes)

A former NFL player and Big 10 defensive player of the year is trading in the football field for frosting. Jamar Israel played in the NFL for eight years, but now he's an owner of Gigi's Cupcakes in Chattanooga at 1925 Gunbarrel Rd 109-E.

Israel tells me, "you know you realize at some point that you can’t play football til you’re 50 or 60 even though you might want ".

The store is owned by Israel and his business partner and friend Dooley Swafford, who played football at UTC and is a former firefighter.

Swafford tells me that a portion of the proceeds from the store will go towards a local charity, although he says the charity has not yet been decided on.

The former NFL player says he's been able to cook and bake since he was young, and says he plans to be hands on. Swafford says he feels confident in Israels abilities as a business owner and baker.

"If not the NFL if not college football, it’d be cupcakes so I’m pretty sure he’ll be an all American at making cupcakes."

The grand opening will be at the store on February 8th.