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Laid-Off Attorney Leaves Law for Cupcake Trade, Offering ‘Butch’ Baked Goods

Posted Feb 25, 2010 1:39 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Screen shot of Butch Bakery website.

Laid off in 2008 from his New Jersey law firm job, David Arrick lined up another job in Dubai. But when the offer was rescinded, he put his commercial real estate and corporate finance skills to use in another arena—cupcakes.

Others have also found the business sweet, including at least two attorneys who deliver to customers hungry for a sugary treat. But Arrick saw a unique niche that his competitors had apparently failed to address—the masculine aesthetic. "We needed to butch it up, buttercup," the 42-year-old attorney tells the Wall Street Journal.

Scraping together $20,000 from a credit card and savings accounts, he established Butch Bakery and hired five employees. It now delivers cupcakes ordered online from its Queens bakery in New York City, but Arrick hopes to open a storefront in Manhattan, too. The business, which opened in December, hasn't yet turned a profit. But a Valentine's Day profile in an e-mail event guide flooded his website with 600,000 hits, and Arrick anticipates that he will be making money in the near future. He is already planning to expand into Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami.

Although not all of his baked goods are alcohol-soaked, kahlua, brandy and beer are featured ingredients of some recipes. Despite the bakery's masculine image, most customers are women.

The cupcake business is "cutthroat," Arrick tells the newspaper. "But my negotiation, corporate and LLC compliance, and accounting skills have served me well. Plus, I can draft complex agreements and contracts."

Related earlier coverage:

ABA Journal: "Quick! Hail Me a Cupcake"

ABAJournal.com: "Law Grad Turns to Cupcake Truck as Economy Sputters"

ABAJournal.com: "Another Attorney Leaves the Law to Drive a Cupcake Truck"

ABAJournal.com: "It’s Airstream v. Airstream in This Cross-Country Cupcake Battle"

ABAJournal.com: "Sprinkles Sues Cupcake Competitor Over Candy Dot"

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