Join us today for a Bakery Tour! We’re hanging out with one of our favorite bakers and taking an inside peek at bakery life!
Bakery Name: Butter Bakery & Cafe
Location: 4907 Mackenzie Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Years in Business: 8 years
Meet The Owner: Rosie Daykin
Butter Bakery has been a neighborhood favorite in a charmingly quaint neighborhood of Vancouver, BC for nearly a decade. Not only does Butter Bakery itself invite you in with its instantly nostalgic pastel colors, smell of sugary baked goods and vibrant yet classic floral wallpaper, but the vintage-look cakes and desserts are reminiscent of dreamy birthday parties past, present and future – everything you want in a local bakery! Rosie Daykin, owner of Butter, is a wearer of many hats – baker, entrepreneur (Butter operates a marshmallow factory for their incredibly popular and pretty marshmallow treats), even Instagram guru! Read on as Rosie shares her thoughts on the business, her successful cookbook and the fun of social media!
Your shop and baked goods have such a beautiful vintage feel. What would you describe as your overall aesthetic for Butter?
When I set out to design a space for Butter I envisioned a bakery where my style of baking would look comfortable and at home. Nothing too fussy, always approachable, warm with a little bit of silly. When I expanded the business in 2012 and moved Butter to 4907 Mackenzie Street, it was important to recreate those details while keeping it fresh and current. The floral print of Butter’s wallpaper, which plays an integral part in the bakery’s branding, is a great example. It is a beautiful but quite traditional print. With the new location, I was able to take that print and have it enlarged by 30%, which instantly gave it a more modern feel while still retaining its nostalgic roots.
What did you want to be as a child? When did you learn how to bake – has baking always been in the picture?
I have been a baker since I was a very young child. I am one of four children and fortunately my mom was more than happy to let me make a mess in the kitchen (as long as I cleaned it up!). There were lots of kids around to eat all my successes and even my fails.
Run us through a typical day at Butter, from baking, to opening up shop, to end of day.
I begin my day at the marshmallow factory. How many people get to say that?? I have a separate facility where we just make our gourmet marshmallows. Butter marshmallows can be found in some of the finest retailers across North America and Japan (you can snag the marshmallow recipe here!). It’s a direction I never planned on going but hey…you gotta go where they are calling. I go to the factory to organize orders for the week, do the invoicing and the necessary shipping. Yes..thats right…I’m also the shipping lady. Something not enough people tell you before you open your own business…be prepared to do it all. I then head to the bakery and depending on what is happening, I’ll be in the kitchen working on new ideas, in the office answering emails and placing orders, out front talking with customers or just dealing with whatever comes my way (again, you gotta go where they are calling).
How do you hire staff? What are the key qualities that make a good staff member? Is there a secret question you ask them?
We hire staff like anyone else would in this day and age. Craigslist. We also consult with local baking schools when looking for kitchen help. Everyone who works at Butter has to be good natured, hard working, reliable and have a sense of humour.
Your first book, Butter Baked Goods, is both beautiful and successful… Congratulations! How did the book come about? How did you find working on the book while still maintaining the everyday workload of the bakery?
Thank you. I am so glad you liked the book! The book came to be thanks to the lovely people at Appetite, an imprint of Random House Canada. My publisher, Robert McCullough was and is a dream to work with, as is everyone at Random House. This past March my book was also published under Knopf in the United States. Writing a cookbook is a full time job for most and doing that in combination with running a business and life in general is pure madness. But it was worth every moment. I love the process of creating. I always have.
What can we expect from your second cookbook, Butter Celebrates, due out in October 2015?
Butter Celebrates is a year of yummy recipes to help you celebrate all the big and small days in your life. Simple but delicious recipes that I hope will become family favourites for years to come.
What is your proudest achievement to date in terms of your bakery and business?
I think I am proudest of the fact that Butter has become part of so many peoples lives. There is a little bit of Butter in so many homes every day and for this I am so very grateful and honoured.
Not only do you have a gorgeous bakery that is so inviting and whimsical, but you also have the Butter tea room as well. Going for high tea is one of my favorite things – what’s on the menu at Butter’s tea room? What do you think makes the ultimate high tea experience?
We actually no longer have a separate tea room. We serve afternoon tea at our Mackenzie Street bakery on Sunday afternoons. Having the two locations just proved to be too much for me once I started writing the second book. I recognized that I needed to streamline my life a little. We have been told our afternoon tea service is one of the best in the city. Each tea includes 5 tea sandwiches (egg salad, chicken waldorf, cucumber, ham and cheese and tuna potato chip), a little quiche, scones, jam and devon cream and a wonderful assortment of Butter treats. All served alongside a bottomless pot of one of Butter’s custom blended teas. We strive to make sure every element of the tea is delicious and beautiful.
You have active social media accounts – I love your Instagram for both the photos and captions. What role do you see social media playing in the growth of your business? How much time do you devote to it?
I just LOVE Instagram. I’m really proud to say that I make a huge effort to create a beautiful but light hearted feed. I personally take all the photos and get a huge kick out of thinking up all the silly captions everyday. I typically post twice a day. Instagram has proven to be a wonderful way to connect with our customers and followers.
With your years of experience and continued success, what advice would you give bakers who are thinking about opening up their own shop, or starting their own business?
The same advice I just gave my daughter upon graduating from university. Spread your arms, hold you breath and always trust your cape. It’s been working for me all this time and when it doesn’t, well thats okay too.