Jennifer's Open Road
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New York, NY
Indie: Indie Roadtrips
Buttercup Bake Shop
baking, positivity, psychology major
“If you asked me 20 years ago, I never would have thought I’d be involved in running a business--or a food business,” says Jennifer Appel, the NYC-based founder of two insanely successful bakeries. Al Roker and Hillary Clinton have been known to frequent her most recent spot, Buttercup Bake Shop. But her first bakery was Magnolia Bakery, where Jennifer and cofounder started making cupcakes with leftover cake batter. Now the cupcake is what Magnolia Bakery is best known for. You could even say that the current cupcake craze was partly her doing. And now Buttercup Bake Shop sells 3,000-4,000 cupcakes per day. But baking is Jennifer’s second career. Her first was clinical psychologist--she went straight through, from undergrad to master’s to Ph.D to practicing psychologist. But after work, she would find herself watching cooking shows, and they planted the seed of her next venture: food. Working in food seemed so much more positive and satisfying than working in psychology. “It’s scary sometimes to make those leaps of faith--I was terrified,” she says. “But I did it. I just said, you know, it couldn’t be any worse than how I feel now. How far could I fall?” Jennifer found her niche within the baking world by listening to her customers, but she also stresses the importance of listening to yourself to figure out where you should be. “A lot of people talk themselves into things and think that they’re going to be satisfied,” she says, “and I think it’s really much more important to listen to the person inside.”