Kenneth Park’s family purchased the Buttery in 2016—three decades after the restaurant first opened in 1984, and quickly became a local fixture. As manager, Park is dedicated to providing customers with the quality to which they’re accustomed.
Known for scratch-made baked goods, Park says the Buttery’s most popular offerings are the carrot cake and the “Our Favorite Chocolate Cake,” which is made with ganache filling and icing.
Breakfast, the other Buttery staple, thrives thanks to the French toast made with Golden Sheaf (their sister bread company) ciabatta bread. Customers regularly call it the best in town. In addition to vegetarian options, the breakfast burrito—loaded with eggs, bacon, roasted potatoes and cheddar cheese—is another hit. The Asian chicken salad and chicken club sandwich are two of several lunchtime faves.
GT asked Park what makes the cakes so special and how his two careers complement each other.
What sets the Buttery’s baked goods apart?
KENNETH PARK: We try to use the best ingredients around, and our baker manager Marcelino is probably one of the best bakers in the state and has been with us for over 20 years. We also really emphasize presentation; our icing is very precise and clean, which really separates us from other cake shops. The original founder, Janet, traveled all around the world to perfect our recipes, and that differentiates our pastries, pies, cookies and cakes as well.
How has restaurant work helped with your other career as a clinical trials manager?
Being a manager at the Buttery, I gained invaluable experience and skills leading a team of over 50 employees, interviewing and hiring countless people, scheduling while taking employees’ personal lives into account and being responsible for managing our massive inventory. Through all of this, I gained many leadership traits, and it has also strengthened my work ethic and helped me better handle pressure situations.
The Buttery, 702 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 831-458-3020; butterybakery.com.