Thursday, March 1, 2012

Butch Bakery. Macho Cupcakes. FOR MEN.

Come on gentlemen. You've been there. You're out with some female friends, and the group's sweet tooth is kicking in. One of the ladies suggests cupcakes. Yeah, you love cupcakes. Who doesn't!? They're individualized morsels of awesome. If you want chocolate and your friend wants vanilla, no worries! Basically, cupcakes are the greatest inventions ever. Bravo, cupcake inventor.

But then, just as you're sitting down at Molly's or Sprinkles or [insert cupcake place of choice here], the inevitable happens. Someone whips out their Smartphone to take a picture of everyone's cupcakes. Within seconds, the photos are on Facebook and you know, you just know, that you will get taunted. Because, yes, cupcakes are awesome--but they are also incredibly girly. And now there are photos of you sitting in a super girly cupcake shop, eating something with frilly icing on it.

Woe is you.

So how can you avoid this disaster next time? Cut out cupackes? Nonsense! That would be a fate worse than death itself, right? Thankfully, David Arrick invented a place that takes two things usually not connected: cupcakes and masculinity, and combines them in one very unique New York City bakery: Butch Bakery.

David Arrick is not someone most people would traditionally associate with cupcakes or baking. Arrick was first an actor, then a summa cum laude graduate of New York Law School. He was working as an attorney until he lost his job in 2010. At that point, with funds running low, he had to learn to cook for himself. He was walking through New York's West Village when he encountered a man with his young daughter at one of New York's many cupcake boutiques. The place was pink and frilly, covered in princesses, fairies, and sparkles. Arrick caught the eye of the father through the store window. "[He] just rolled his eyes," Arrick said for an article in the New York Times. "That was my 'ah-ha' moment."

So Arrick put his newfound baking skills to the test. He called his six-year-old nephew and asked if he would enjoy camo cupcakes. The young boy went nuts for the idea, so Arrick made some. The cupcakes turned out to be a hit with Arrick's family and friends, and the idea for Butch Bakery was born.

Arrick's company started purely as a website from which people could order cupcakes and have them delivered. The twelve flavors on the menu were certainly not cupcakes that could be found anywhere else: Rum and Coke, Old-Fashioned, Campout (a Smores cupcake), and Beer Run (a chocolate beer-infused cupcake), just to name a few. His website began getting a million views a day, and orders began flowing in, mostly for birthdays and Father's Day.

Many people believed Arrick had stumbled upon a geniusly creative idea. Cupcakes have become such a niche treat with a very specific target audience. Arrick has created a completely new type of product within what used to be a very specific market. The need for something unique and different was there, and Arrick capitalized on it.
However not all the attention has been positive. Arrick has been criticized by many for his cliche views on gender roles, and turning cupcakes into a gender battle. Arrick doesn't believe that's what he's doing; he believes that all he's doing is having a little fun while selling a unique product. "They're cupcakes," he told the New York Times in a 2010 article. "They're supposed to be fun."
Currently, Arrick's website is down. He's opening a storefront in Manhattan that was initially expected to open in Fall 2011 but recently was pushed back to Father's Day 2012. In the meanwhile, those craving a manly cupcake will have to resort to making them themselves with the recipes in Arrick's cookbook, which was released in October.

So bake on, men of the world. Bake on.

Anyone looking for more information can head to

1 comment:

  1. I think that this is a really great idea! Cupcakes have always had a stigma of cuteness. While presentation is important, the inside of the store and the outside of the cupcakes tend to match. For a man to be seen in such a place does seem a bit like a fish out of water. But the man shouldn't have to sacrifice getting to eat something delicious. The Butch Bakery seems like an example of an creative idea being received so well because of the right time and place, as well as visualizing in a creative way, away from the pink. Cupcake shops are everywhere, and there is definitely room for them to cater to another crowd.


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