Thursday, October 22, 2009

Karma is a bitch, or why I won't be buying Billy's Bakery cupcakes again

Buttercup Bake Shop lemon cupcake

I visited seven, yup, seven cupcake bakeries in Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon for a story I am researching. The taste results will appear elsewhere, but I wanted to have a little rant about service.

First: the good. Buttercup Bake Shop gave me a warm welcome and, when my two cupcakes arrived at the cashier in a paper bag, I asked for them to be boxed, explaining that I was going to be travelling on a train with them. Not only did the really lovely guy box them without a second's hesitation, but he scrunched up protective tissue paper around them. (See above.) My cupcakes were in perfect condition on arrival five hours later. Ten out of ten.

Now: the execrable. There was quite a line at Billy's Bakery in Chelsea, so I made sure I knew exactly what I wanted by the time my turn came around. Unfortunately dude behind the counter found "one Red Velvet & one Vanilla" too complicated to comprehend" & gave me the, "What are you RETARDED?" sneer when he asked me to repeat myself. Lovely.

Flustered by the attitude I forgot to ask for a box. When I did so at the cashier, explaining that I was travelling, he refused and with zero, well less than zero charm. His charming co-worker manning the till tried to make up for it by proffering a plastic bag. I figured that a review should be based on what the store was willing to give so I took the paper bag of cupcakes and left, thankfully. This is what they looked like five hours later:

Billy's Bakery cupcakes

Seriously, one box wasn't going to kill them - the other five NYC bakeries I visited all boxed my cupcakes WITHOUT BEING ASKED. Because, hey, they have icing: they're gonna get squashed.

Here's a tip, dude with the 'tude: karma is a bitch. You were unpleasant & unhelpful and now, instead of a lovely picture of a perfect cupcake, you've got a splatted mess with your bakery's name on for all of Google to see.