“The SBDC helped me better understand and prepare my business plan. Growing up in a family business, a business plan was all about going with the flow. I never knew what a cash flow was, but support from the SBDC has increased my business knowledge.” – Thoa Nguyen
CEO and owner Thoa Nguyen is a pastry chef by day and a culinary chef by night. Branching out from the family’s restaurant, she studied baking and pastry arts, then traveled to France to continue her education, discovering a deeper meaning for food. “It has a way of connecting me to people, culture, art, memories, stories and experiences.” In fact, Plated Culture is her LLC. It’s this concept that describes food as a worldwide language.
Thoa took out a personal loan to start and grow the business. With a solid and realistic business plan, Banh & Butter Bakery Café has survived its first year as a small business in Aurora near the Anschutz Medical Center, exceeding projections. What was a set menu, Thoa quickly recognized the demand for lunch items after interacting with the community. So, pastries and coffee became pastries and sweets, coffee and specialty drinks, baguette and croissant sandwiches, breakfast all day and merchandise items. The bakery’s customers include students, teachers, service workers, neighborhood regulars, seniors, medical personnel and more.
“The Aurora-South Metro SBDC has resources that go beyond business planning. They keep in touch with my business, answer my business questions as I grow and help find resources for funding.”
Expanding on the bakery’s merchandise, the bakery will soon offer online orders and delivery. There is good potential in farmers markets throughout the year and special event catering. Thoa is researching the right products for grocery stores and wants to create an online store to ship nationwide. The key to Banh & Butter’s success is listening to customers and keeping up with demand.
Banh & Butter is community based. They outsource their products locally, including a plant vendor, jerky vendor and coffee supplier. The bakery showcases artists who display their work at the café which takes no commission and fully supports student and other local art. Thoa wants to continue as a partner with the local community.
The company has gone from four employees and three interns from culinary school to eight team members—seven full-time and one part-time. Meet their diverse and talented team online: https://www.banhandbutter.com/meet-the-team.
The future looks bright for this French-Vietnamese, Asian-fusion bakery café. “Bánh” is a Vietnamese term that is often applied to a wide variety of breads, sweet and savory pastries and goods. Check out their delectable menu and what’s new from the creatives behind the name. Visit www.banhandbutter.com.