There was a mom. She wanted to make something special for her 100 day old baby. A beautiful flower cake came into her eye. “This is it!” The mom searched and found a good place to learn cake making. But it required 4 hour travel and she had to take care of her baby. So she decided to do it on her own at home. A day, week, month and so on passed and she saw her skill progressing day by day. It was when her unique cake almost took a shape that a woman knocked her door one day asking to teach her the skill; and it was the prelude to the born of the Korea’s first ever cake making startup.
The mom was no one but Park Hye-rim, CEO of BUTTERBE BAKING STUDIO, who now has opened 12 chains nationwide with a recent contract in Tokyo, Japan. Some would say the number seems nothing. But the ‘some’ would change their mind on knowing the fact that Park is the one who first introduced the cake making franchise system in Korea for the people with limited capital and space.
“I just wanted to make a beautiful cake for my 100 day old baby. But it grew as a workshop and I decided to make it a business when I realized there were many women with children who wished to run their own business. I named BUTTERBE because most cakes made here are based on buttercream and I added the BE, the existence, to make the passion last for as long as it could.”
How Park achieved differentiation in this overflowing cake business today? Firstly, she focused on ‘cake making’ to help people startup a workshop or a patisserie. Secondly, she introduced unique ‘character cake’ through a licensing deal for the use of Hollywood marvel characters and celebrities home and abroad; she also introduced ‘order to made self-portrait or character services’ which make one’s birthday or wedding more special and meaningful.
“The idea of ‘character cake’ developed from simple thought of what character my baby would love? We all have our beloved ones and it would be meaningful and special if the cake is marked with the character on that special day.”
BUTTERBE startup classes offer R Class and N Class: the former for people with business in difficulties and latter for startups; the materials (recipe, uniform, workbook, etc.) are provided for free and the support for marketing, consulting, supplies, certificate, competition and workshops home and abroad are provided on special benefits, alongside home class startup, cost effective group purchase, 1 million won scholarship (on obtaining international certificate), and free use of characters.
Starting from Jeju, BUTTERBE currently manages 12 chains: Seoul, Seoul Gangdong, Daegu, Ulsan, Sanbon, Ilsan, Suwon, Incheon, Dongtan, Osan and Bucheon. The company (head office) has been registered as a corporation in August this year and CEO Park is determined for transparent management and unsparing support for the chain owners.
You might be mistaken BUTTERBE as a café because of the sophisticated logo but CEO Park sees it rather differently “We will stick to the gun of ‘cake making’ like we first did. If the business keeps on the good track, we will introduce a kids baking class for future patissier. If we achieve even greater, then we will open BUTTERBE PATISSERIE ACADEMY (tentative): it will play the springboard for all patissier to proudly put up their signboard of SUCCESS on leaving the academy.
Park, who has a national colorist certificate, recently has finished <Butterbe Color Charts: Based on Buttercream with Food Colors>, and is working on publishing <Butterbe Cake Decoration Book (tentative)> late December this year. The book is to contain the charts and the basic skills of BUTTERBE including character cake.
Butterbe Is A Dream of Patisserie!
I lived as a nurse Huh Ji-young for 15 years. All those years, I dreamed to be a patissiere who makes beautiful eye popping cakes. After long years of wandering, I finally decided my mind to do what I always wished to do and BUTTERBE gave me wings. Now, I’m living as a patissiere Huh Ji-young.
From passion for cakes to winning prizes twice at international competitions, I’ve stuck to this thought: ‘Slow but do it properly’. And it was only possible thanks to my son Geun-woo, my supportive family and all teachers of BUTTERBE that I’ve pushed forward my dream.
I was always afraid to challenge for cake business despite my huge interest. But BUTTERBE made me do it with courage. Now, I make beautiful cakes every day that have been always living in my imaginations all those years. And I’m ready to encourage those who hesitate like me before. Have courage and challenge for your dream!
I tried cake making at high school and did it for 8 years while working at a big company. And I’ve always found myself most happy when making cakes. I feel grateful that I can make a special cake for customers in special occasions because what I give is ‘a touch’ instead of a mass produced cake.
I majored in cooking and engaged in the field afterwards. But the career came to a halt when I got married and had a baby. Then I came to know BUTTERBE and it was like a saviour who made me do it without a limit of space, time and commuting. I met many good people and am satisfied but I feel most happy when I make cakes with my baby. It will be a good memory.
I was worried about early retirement or voluntary resignation that might hit me soon or later. So I had to prepare something for the latter half of my life beforehand. I searched this and that for 10 years to find the right thing; rice cake, Korean cookies, you name it but my final choice was BUTTERBE. I’m happy and busy opening a chain now.
I was SNS enthusiast on deserts and restaurants and came to know BUTTERBE by chance. I was like “Wow, is this cake real? Who could make this cake?” I majored in the piano and have played for more than 10 years but I really wanted to challenge for the cake. The down-to-earth curriculum alongside the all hearted support and advice of CEO Park and senior teachers now resulted in me running Incheon branch.
I worked in confectionary for more than 10 years while raising two children. One thing that always haunted me was ‘Am I on the right path?’ Knowing BUTTERBE completely removed this feeling and I’m now enjoying the synergy created by my knowhow in the field and the special power of BUTTERBE.
I was really impressed by CEO Park who was so passionate at that small workshop. Then I had a third baby and quit to raise my three children. Deep down in my heart, I always wanted to do something on my own. Sometime after a few years, I visited BUTTERBE again and Park welcomed me with her whole heart and encouraged me. Now, I feel really happy making cakes every day and I thank my supportive husband, my lovely three children and I want to be a proud career woman.
김종관 기자 email@example.com