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Daily Inspiration: Meet Pawel Pietrasinski

Today we’d like to introduce you to Pawel Pietrasinski.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
The story of Honey & Butter starts with two individuals who were sharing similar interests and passion. Both Leanne (my girlfriend at the time) and I were not entirely satisfied with our carrier choices, and we wanted a change. At the time, Leanne’s side job was baking macarons for local tea shops. She loved everything about macarons: unique taste, shape, colors, and almost endless flavor combinations. Leanne dreamed of having their own macaron shop, but she could never wholly commit to the craft. That is when she met me. I was fascinated by her and wanted to support her as much as I could. This is how Honey & Butter was created. It was a tiny, little business at first. We were baking at home and selling pre-packaged macarons in a silver trailer in the LAB, Costa Mesa. It started very slow for us, but we were very motivated to go on.

Since then, we have learned a lot about macarons and improved our culinary skills. The popularity of our products grew tremendously. We were selling out almost every day. That was a perfect scenario for us because we could bake a fresh batch the next day, and we love selling our product fresh! After around one year and a half, we have decided to open our first brick-and-mortar location. Irvine Spectrum was the perfect place. With a good dose of luck, we were able to sign a lease there and open our first bakery. This was an excellent idea since it gave us good exposure and a window of opportunity for exciting collaborations. We had plenty of those! We collaborated with brands like tokidoki, Rilakumma, Atlus (Persona), Crunchyroll, Johny Cupcakes, and many more. It was an amazing and humbling experience from the start until now. We have met many amazing people and gained truly an extraordinary following.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has been a rocky road at times, but it is ok. No one, ever, has run a business with absolutely no issues along the way. Those happen, we faced them, adjust, re-work some things, and we keep going. I remember that we had some problems with almond flour a few years ago. That product changes so much. Sometimes it’s very coarse, sometimes it’s super dry. With our recipe, the almond flour needs to be very fine and slightly moist. It is very hard to get the same quality all the time. And, as you may know, it is heartbreaking when your macarons are not baking right. One thing for sure, that a good oven helps a lot. We have improved from a double dock convection oven to a single, walk-in rotary one, and we could tell the difference in baking right away. The bottom line is, the issues will occur, but it should not stop you from doing what you love.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
We are the most known for our Creature Macarons. It is a macaron with the face of your favorite Anime, Manga, TV-Show character, any cute animal (Pandas & Corgies are our favorites), or just anything that can be done as a cookie. We are currently focusing more on the classics macarons rather than creatures. However, Leanne has just released an illustrated Creature Macaron Guide for everyone interested in trying their skills in making cute cookies. This guide teaches you how to pipe the creatures and make some of the selected macarons buttercream fillings. For anyone else, who is more interested in eating rather than creating, we invite you to visit Honey & Butter at Irvine Spectrum.

Can you share something surprising about yourself?
There is a lot of surprising things. First off – we have our own macaron recipe (low sugar recipe) and our own macaron technique. Our macarons are generally chewier, a little crunchy from the outside, and taste like they were made an hour ago. We won’t allow selling old macarons at our bakery – they are usually taken home by our staff or donated to local businesses or hospitals. Our macarons are filled with buttercream, which gives you this fantastic “melts in your mouth feeling.” They are best consumed chilled, and they need to be refrigerated – oh, that is a good tip for everyone!

Another one is… that I am actually not French! Oh no! I know that I look like a French guy, and people assume this a lot, hehe. True is: I am actually a Polish guy married to a Vietnamese lady (Leanne) who bakes French Macarons in the United States.

We are fur parents as well. We own two Corgies named Pizza & Pasta and British Short Hair cat named Pumpkin. All food-related names, one can wonder why!

Pricing:

  • $2.50 for most of our classic Macarons
  • $3 for some special, classic Macarons
  • $4 and up for Creature Macarons
  • $60 for illustrated Creature Macaron Guide
  • $23 for Do-It-Yourself Boba Kit

Contact Info:

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