NEW YORK (Reuters) - There is a Rum and Coke, B-52, Sidecar and Driller. No, they are not cocktails, but cupcakes — for men.
When former Wall Street lawyer David Arrick lost his job during the U.S. recession, he decided to change careers and capitalise on the popularity of cupcakes in New York City.
“I saw that cupcakes were hot and cupcake businesses were thriving,” he said. “But they’re all very feminine and pink. A lot of them are frilly with jelly beans and sprinkles.”
So Arrick put a masculine twist on the cupcake and started Butch Bakery.
He came up with 12 flavours like Sidecar, a brandy-soaked lemon cake with an orange and white chocolate ganache filling, Driller, a maple cake topped with crumbled bacon and filled with milk-chocolate ganache, and Rum and Coke, a rum-soaked Madagascar vanilla cake with cola Bavarian cream.
“When I lost my job I had to stop going to New York City restaurants a lot, I had to save money,” Arrick explained.
“How was I going to do that? I was going to teach myself how to cook. I decided I would put baking knowledge and interest to good use and I collaborated with a bunch of bakers and we all got together and came up with these flavours,” he said.
Two of the most popular flavours, according to Arrick, are Beer Run, a chocolate beer cake with beer-infused butter cream topped with crushed pretzels, and Mojito, a rum-soaked lime cake with mint white-chocolate ganache.
Although Butch Bakery markets itself as making “manly cupcakes for manly men,” Arrick said up to 95 percent of the people buying his $4.25 (2.78 pounds) cupcakes are women.
“We have solved the problem of what do you get for a guy for his 35th birthday, his 40th birthday, congratulations on making partner, congratulations on your 21st birthday. There has been a gap in gift giving to guys,” he said.
While Butch Bakery only takes online orders at the moment and the cupcakes are baked in a commercial kitchen in the New York City borough of Queens, Arrick plans to open a shop in Manhattan later this year. He is also publishing a cupcake cook book and pitching a reality television show.
Since opening in November 2009, Arrick said business has grown about 500 percent, despite the U.S. economic turmoil. Butch Bakery now sells about 500 cupcakes a week and Arrick aims to quadruple that.
“This is my full time job now,” he said. “I am surprised about how quickly it took off.”
Editing by Patricia Reaney