It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Butter Avenue. My addiction to their macarons is severe. I admit that sometimes I think I need intervention. But when you’ve had a taste of their delightfully airy and sweet treats of happiness you would totally understanding my raving.
Late in the summer, Butter Avenue quietly opened up their second shop down in the very busy area of Queen Street West near Spadina (Vogue magazine mentioned it as one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world) That section of the strip has seen a surge in great restaurants opening lately like The Burger’s Priest, Kinton Ramen and Bahn Mi Boys just to name a few. For Butter Avenue to join this enclave of uber cool it was a commitment that started last year.
Their first location is quite different from the downtown location. Different clientele and neighbourhood. This often considered a “Tony area” of upper-income families that have lights out at 10 pm is a complete contrast to the Queen Street vibe that starts their mojo running at 10 pm. But why not? Extremes can be a great challenge that is worth exploring.
Calvin and Tina Su, co-owners as well as siblings, seem calm, cool and collected yet you can tell they’ve got a strong faith of jumping into unchartered territories. They seem to know just how far their clientele is willing to travel for their addiction. Tina, who’s is a well trained french pastry chef, will sacrifice everything for perfection in her goods. Her flavour combinations are exciting and unique. Not too many other macaron shops in Toronto will go beyond the expected and safe. Yes, cassis is nice. And so is lemon and raspberry. Been there… but recently I had ventured in to discover black sesame and yuzu that was a complete sensation.
Butter Avenue doesn’t try to be anyone else in Toronto. If you ask them to define themselves they would give you that sense of Japanese perfection with Scandinavian style. Unique offerings that seem effortless but we know that’s not the case. Think Muji and Uniqlo and you’ve got that feel. High quality, contemporary, and yet accessible with every element thought out.
I had the chance to grab Tina and Calvin quickly to find out what’s been happening lately…
How did you decide on the new location?
Queen & Spadina is one of the hippest area on earth, we also have a lot of customers live near by and kept asking us to open one here, when the opportunity came we just grabbed it.
What’s the vibe of your store and the area like that’s different from the first one?
Butter Avenue brand is a mix of Scandinavian and Japanese styles, we took similar ideas from the first store and added a few more creative and cool elements, such as the copper frame, glass light box and etc. We are also working with a new interior designer and a brand development and package design company Arc & Co.
What have you learned about the business in general?
Consistency, creativity and hard work are the key elements to success
Pumpkin spice macarons and the “Runaway Pumpkin” tart!
What are you thankful for?
Our family and friends who supported us along the way, most importantly, Butter Avenue’s fans !
Butter Avenue is located at 477 Queen Street West and at 3467 Yonge Street in Toronto.