Vu Twins Bake a Name For Themselves
By Grace Wood, Copy Editor
The notification dings. “Butterhalfbakery has posted a photo.” The mad rush to place an order before the dreadful “SOLD OUT” begins. The next morning, the smell of blueberry pancake cupcakes fills the gym lobby. Students line up to get their fresh bakery treats.
Tiffany and Jennifer Vu (12) started Butter Half Bakery in February and had no idea if it would be successful. “I thought, ‘Who would trust a stranger with an anniversary or birthday gift?’” says Jennifer. “We didn’t think we would have 5-10 custom orders a month and be baking 2 to 3 times a week!”
To lower costs, they buy their ingredients in bulk at Costco each week. Because they work in their home kitchen, they’re only able to produce a small quantity. “Our friends sometimes forget that we’re not a real business and can’t make 100 cupcakes at once,” says Tiffany.
The twins also take advantage of their photography skills by giving each of their creations a photoshoot. They then post the photos on their Instagram, @butterhalfbakery, and wait for the orders to come in. “At first, we thought we would make around $20, and our followers would just be our close friends,” says Tiffany.
They soon realized what a hit their business had become. “We usually sell out within 5 minutes!” says Jennifer. “It’s like Supreme around here!”
Tiffany and Jennifer’s unique creations range from birthday cake macaroons to strawberry shortcake whoopie pies. “We like to think of interesting flavor combinations or foods and try to recreate that flavor in a dessert form,” says Tiffany.
The twins also credit the Internet and their friends for inspiration. “One day Sanjay Venkatesan (12) asked us ‘Can you make me an Oreo cupcake?’” says Jennifer. “Next thing we know, it becomes one of our most popular flavors, so we have Sanjay to thank for spiking up our sales.”
“It gets a bit overwhelming sometimes when we take a lot of custom orders and have to deal with school at the same time,” says Tiffany. “But it sure helps having a partner!”