Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Bakery Boss: When the Baker is the Problem

Give Buddy a problem, and he'll find a way to fix it. Unfortunately, when a baker doesn't realize he has a problem, it's tougher to do. This is part of the issue that Drew's Pastry Place is having, as Drew ignores the public's demands for cupcakes because he thinks making them is below him. For perspective, Carlo's Bakery sells 10-15k cupcakes each week! On that note, I've had the red velvet there, and it was great - not the best of my life, but way better than the ones you get at Sprinkles! Anyway, I was glad that Buddy was able to convince Drew to offer his customers what they want, and put his own flair on cupcakes at the same time. It's important to have a signature item, as that sets you apart and raises your self-esteem - you can make something that not everyone can! I mean, I don't even bake professionally, and my signature cupcake (of which I am quite proud) is amaretto cream, and it's just divine.  ;)

Bakery Boss "Drew's Pastry Place" (S01E07): In Houston, Buddy visits the only Italian pastry shoppe in town, which appears to be part Italian market and part cafe, as they sell cookies, tiramisu, cannolis, cakes, and lasagna. [interesting twist.] The tiramisu is good, the cannoli cream is good (though not plentiful), but there are no Southern baked goods, when there's a market for them. There are also no cupcakes besides red velvet ones, as Drew, the owner, doesn't think they show off his abilities. [but they know there is a demand for them? what a jerk!] The problem there is that they buy cream cheese frosting by the bucket, so Buddy shows him how to make it. [omg, good cream cheese icing is my favorite!]

More about the bakery: when Drew was 40, he went to pastry school, and when he finished, his parents cashed in their 401K to start the bakery. [wow.] His dad has been paying the rent for five years, and Drew hasn't taken a paycheck in about as long, so $600,000 later, they're losing like $3k/month. [this location costs about $19k/month to run.] Drew likes to do things his way, so Buddy has to stage an intervention to get Drew to five up his ego. Then, Buddy sets to work on showing Drew that the local market wants more option, so he sets out two tables - one with goods the bakery sells, one with items Buddy thinks people in Houston would buy: sugar cookies, cinnamon buns, banana pudding, banana bread, and cupcakes. [I'm still laughing at "any monkey can make a cupcake."] Passersby can have 1 item from either table, based on visual appeal. Most of Buddy's items are taken first, so Drew decides to open up his mind to other possibilities, like cupcakes. Buddy even helps Drew figure out his signature cupcake: cannoli flavor, because he's proud of his cream.

Buddy's designer also gives the place a new look - less Italian distractions, easier sightlines, a larger nook space, and more colors on the walls. [the family photos on the wall were weird.]

Two months later, there's cherry pie and reindeer cupcakes for sale, and things have been busy in the bakery.
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