Ingredients for successfully running a small baking company

Running a small baked goods business can be exhausting. When you’re the owner, accountant, marketing executive, operations manager, head baker and countless other hats, there never seems to be enough time in the day to get it all done.

BestVendor, an excellent startup based in New York City, helps connect people with useful apps that can make their work life (and their personal life) better. I created a list of some of the software tools I use on a daily basis to help my company run, and to help keep me sane.

Please go over and take a gander! Hopefully there'll be something on the list that is new to you and that you can use to be more productive or more organized.

View the list here!


My niece, the architect...

I just got the cutest text message from my niece. Apparently, she took it upon herself to plan and design and even make a model of the future storefront of Butter + Love...

This might be one of my favorite pictures ever. I especially love how the Butter + Love sign is hanging from copper wire. I have always had a fondness for charming signage...

She may not be old enough to vote for me everyday, but she's clearly showing her support - and that makes my heart happy!

Help us get there - Vote now!


Butter + Love goes American Gothic... ahem, American Made

As you may have heard, Butter + Love is in the running for the Audience Choice Award in Martha Stewart's American Made contest. Although the overall audience vote is only a portion of the final decision - it's a big part! And we are asking you, from the bottom of our hearts, to vote for us - daily! - until September 24th. Winning this contest would be a huge honor, as well as a huge help in furthering our business...

Being a fairly new, New York City based company we've got a challenge ahead of us; one that we're eager to rise to: Get America's attention! When thinking about a creative way to "rally the troops" we got to thinking how great it would be to take classic American images, give them our own Butter + Love spin, and then post them to our various social media networks to help spread the word. This entire photo shoot, from the initial spark of genius to final photo editing, took about a week to finish. However, we threw the actual shoot together in less than a day. Luckily we live in a Borough filled with talent and creativity, and we when we called on our friends to help pull this off they were eager to help. Plus, we gave them cookies - lots of cookies. You know what they say, Team work makes the dream work. Well, team work and cookies.

First up: American Gothic...

Michael and I have a soft spot for Americana, so finding the necessary ingredients for this photo was fairly easy. We used our beloved Brooklyn as a backdrop - utilizing an amazing, old wooden home found in historic Fort Greene/Clinton Hill. We're outfitted with items from our own closets as well as a few generous loans from friends. The rolling pin we picked up on a trip Upstate last spring and that's the apron Michael uses when he helps me out in the kitchen. As far as the pose - he had the deadpan look down immediately, but it took a lot of concentration on my part to not smile!

Next up: Alison as "Rosie the Riveter..."

This was so much fun to shoot! The original image is so empowering, but I have to tell you - getting to BE the image is even better! I have a thing for vintage linen, so the tablecloth I had on hand. I picked up the red bandana from The Brooklyn Flea last weekend and borrowed the (perfect colored) chambray shirt from my friend Daria. Another friend, James, gave me that awesome B+L tattoo. Voila! "Alison the Riveter."

Next... Uncle Sam: I want YOU!

Granted, Uncle Sam didn't wear a fedora or sport a delicious Butter + Love gingerbread mustache cookie... but he should have. The beautiful, hand-stitched 48-star American Flag hanging behind me usually hangs in Michael's apartment - we found it in an antique shop out on Long Island, and it's one of his favorite possessions.

And now the best part, the cookies get their closeup... a la Andy Warhol:

Warhol's "Four Colored Campbell's Soup Cans" is such an iconic American image and it seemed the perfect way to showcase our Signature Jam Sandwich Cookies. My best friend Stephen worked his magic using a select few iPad apps to make this happen, and I love how it turned out!

So there you have it folks! Patriotic, classic Americana, delicious looking photos for you to re-blog, share, Tweet, Pin, Instagram, and show your friends. Help us rally the troops! Help us spread the word!

Let's show America what this creative, artisanal, and delicious bakery can do!


Hop on over to Martha Stewart's site and vote for Butter + Love!

These photos would never have been possible without the generous help of the following people:

Photos/Images: the incomparable Stephen Gire
Stylist, hair & makeup, and gentle, affirming presence: Hilary Rushford of Dean Street Society
Typography: Janet Kim
Wardrobe contributors: Daria Siegel, Hilary Rushford
Tattoo artist/backdrop holder: James Oliphint
Drivers, prop holders, craft service, directors of social media, and general enthusiasm: Austin Shepard, Sarah Lilley, and Matt Albert


Pinch me!

My, oh my! Guess what I got in my Inbox yesterday?! An email from the folks at Martha Stewart Living letting me know that Butter + Love is a FINALIST in their American Made awards! With almost 2,000 entries, only 100 companies were chosen. Seriously, pinch me now! I'm so excited!

The fact that we're a finalist is... well, it's amazing. Every aspect of Butter + Love - each Tweet, each photo, every decision from perfecting the flavor combinations to adding menu items to carefully wrapping each Etsy order to be mailed off - is a labor of love. I have worked around the clock over the past year to get it to where it is today and when something like this happens, well... it just makes you take a moment to rest in that feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction.

However, this is only the beginning, we've got a long way to go, you and me. We've got to rally the troops and get people to vote! Voting began yesterday - and you can vote everyday from now until September 24th. So, please, oh please, for the love of butter... and for the love of deliciousness, I ask you to vote for us! Click the link below to get started:

Thank you in advance for your support, from bottom of my lil' heart...


A weekend in the country...

We're heading to Cape Cod for the weekend and I couldn't be more excited! Life is so busy for us, and we're looking forward to spending a few days just settin' on the porch, drinking coffee and lazily watching the boats go by. And, of course, there will be lobsters. There should always be lobsters.

Cookie Season (aka: the Holidays) is upon us, and we wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to spend time with our favorites and rest up before we dive into four months of being up to our elbows in flour, butter, and sugar! Although, let's be honest... there are worse ways to spend your time! (Smile)

Have a lovely weekend, friends!


I'm fairly new to Instagram; just a couple of months actually. Michael took my phone one day, started an account, handed my phone back to me and said, "This will be your new favorite thing. You're welcome."

He was right - I'm having a blast with it! Although I enjoy most social media outlets, I find it far easier to take a pretty picture than I do trying to be informative, descriptive, and witty in 140 characters or less.

However, not everyone is on the Instagram Train. This is know... and totally understand why! It's so easy to be overly connected these days. However, I am always looking for an opportunity to take a pretty picture, so it's more for my personal enjoyment than anything. I think I'm going to start posting some of my favorites here - for those of you who choose not to "Stop and Instagram the roses." (I'm speaking mostly to my sweet Mother who only *just* figured out how to text. Bless her heart.)

If you're Instagram saavy, let's stay connected! I post mostly about the Baker's Life, but sometimes I can't help but take pictures of my adorable dog and the amazing neighborhood in which I live in Brooklyn

Follow me at: @butterpluslove!

Stout Chocolate Cupcakes - for my dear friend's birthday

Sweet + Savory jam sandwich cookies

"Hurry up and wait." (or, An actor's motto.)
I got the chance to play a small role on a new TV show, debuting on CBS this September, "Elementary." It was fun to take a break from the kitchen for a day and hang out on set with Lucy Liu and Johnny Lee Miller. I'll keep you updated on when the episode will air!

Sweet jam sandwich cookies. They're just so pretty!

"Stop and Instagram the roses."
On my way to the kitchen in the wee morning hours...
Fort Greene, Brooklyn

On Labor Day, we labored! But we got to make cookies...  so it was a labor of love.


Packaging up some cooking for my purveyors.