Bread and Butter subverts the minimalist aesthetic of newer coffee shops, opting instead for a cozy, homegrown ambience, while also prioritizing simple ingredients and locally sourced food to make it an ideal workspace for local professionals and students looking for a quiet, comfortable spot to work or study.
Bread and Butter: What’s the Buzz
503 West Rosemary Street Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Sunday: 7am- 5:30pm
$-$$: Expect to pay about $5.00 for a flavored latte and about the same price for one of their pastries. Overall they adhere to typical coffeeshop prices of the area.
Coffee and Tea: Offering Almond and Soy Milk as well as multiple different sweeteners, their coffee drinks and tea selection are vegan friendly! Their coffee is sourced from local brewer Counter Culture coffee out of Durham and their loose-leaf teas are self-proclaimed as fair-trade.
Pastries: Though their pastry menu rotates daily, for the most part their pastries are not vegan friendly, but are vegetarian and often gluten- free friendly! All of their ingredients are listed clearly on the labels if you are unsure of contaminents.
Bread: The majority of their fresh baked bread is vegan friendly (except for the Honey Whole Wheat), however their bread is not gluten-free friendly).
- Perfect study or work spot
- Sit by the large window for easy access to wall plugs for electronic devices
- Avoid going on Sundays! Opt instead to go during the week to ensure you can snag a prime seat
- Don’t leave without grabbing one of their infamous scones, or if you’re vegan opt for a piece of their fresh-baked bread!
Ambience, Authenticity, Academia make Bread and Butter an A+
The smell of freshly baked bread fills the almost deadly silence of the café. Headphone-donned students type dutifully while sipping warm lattes or biting into uniquely flavored scones. The mismatched mugs and couches call you in, inviting you to sit and stay a while. Bread and Butter, opened in 2011 is here to be your new quiet space- a place to indulge in a bout of introversion, or to work without distraction. Bread and Butter subverts the minimalist aesthetic of newer coffee shops, opting instead for a cozy, homegrown ambience, while also prioritizing simple ingredients and locally sourced food to make it an ideal workspace for local professionals and students looking for a quiet, comfortable spot to work or study.
“It feels like home in there”- Hailey Ramos, UNC Class of 2021
Bread and Butter Bakery and Cafe creates a unique environment by subverting the increasingly popular post-industrial aesthetic of newer coffee shops in the area (think Perennial Coffee or Grey Squirrel Coffee). Bread and Butter chooses instead to utilize a laid-back, lived in aesthetic in the shop to give customers a comfortable workspace that encourages long stays. Bread and Butter actively rejects aspects of modern minimalist design defined by Miller as, “1. simplicity in form and function, 2. uncomplicated wall finishings, 3. clean light-filled areas, 4. simple non-decorative detailing, and 5. strategic use of texture to build visual interest” (YR Architecture and Design). These facets of design are intentionally not used in Bread and Butter’s spacial design giving it a more vintage ambience that promotes comfort and a bit of nostalgia reminiscent of one’s grandmother’s home. One can sit in a retro style booth against their statement window wall that stretches the length of the cafe, or choose one of the many mismatched couches and armchairs to sink into whilst one works or studies. Focusing less on a carefully curated aesthetic and more on facilitating “functional use for patrons” with their plush (though dated looking) seating encourages patrons to stay longer to work on assignments or readings (Kibler 118). With the aroma of freshly baked bread and roasting espresso, one’s work can be done in a warm and tender environment.
“I like to know what I’m eating, you know?”- Teddy Reese UNC, Class of 2020
You’ll never have to wonder about the ingredients of your tasty treat at Bread and Butter Bakery and Café. Alongside the shelve of pastries, placed in glass serving dishes, tags containing the ingredient list for each pastry is posted. This list not only shows each ingredient, but also where each ingredient was acquired from. According to Label Insight’s 2016 study, “67% of consumers believe it is the brand or manufacturer’s responsibility to provide complete product information” and “over a third” of study participants would switch brands if one brand was more transparent than another (Label Insight, 3). Bread and Butter adheres to this preference for transparency through their clear labelling and use of recognizably simple ingredients. I think we can all agree we’d rather read a label featuring flour and milk rather than one featuring “Polysorbate 60” and “Calcium Sulfate” (two of the thirty-seven ingredients found in Twinkies). This company transparency is a smart rhetorical move for Bread and Butter as this can play “a major part in gaining the trust of consumers” (Wognum et. al 67). Not having to think about or feel even slightly guilty about the food you’re eating at Bread and Butter makes studying there even more optimal than previously described. If you’re hoping to be environmentally conscious whilst you enjoy this treasure of a Café, Bread and Butter has you covered in this respect as well! A majority of their ingredients come from “within a 250 mile radius” of the café making it locally sourced as defined by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (AASHE). While working on your 10 page final paper, you can at least feel good about supporting the Chapel Hill/ Research Triangle area by eating locally at Bread and Butter.
“Bread and Butter is where I go when I know I need to get work done.” -Alex Jackson, UNC Class of 2020
As mentioned on this page previously, Bread and Butter Café is the perfect addition to a college town because it fosters an ideal area to study or work. Bread and Butter creates a new kind of third space which optimizes productivity. A traditional third space hosts “the regular, voluntary, informal, and happily anticipated gatherings of individuals beyond the realms of home and work” (Kibler, 20). Whilst people still gather with friends at Bread and Butter, their is little room for socialization. Instead of a rowdy, bustling environment featuring roaring conversation, Bread and Butter feels much more like a library. In this sense, Bread and Butter redefines the third space by encouraging people to gather inside, but also focus on their work. If you’re looking for a place to loquaciously discuss your life with a friend; this is not the space for you. However, if you and a friend are looking to feel a mutual bond while also churning out individual assignments (or a group assignment if you can keep your discussion to a low murmur) Bread and Butter is waiting for you!
Through this project, I have come to appreciate Bread and Butter’s old fashioned charm. Though it is shocking to step into Bread and Butter for the first time as the shop is so eerily quiet and not the typical coffee shop, after analyzing it I have come to see that these differences the shop highlights make it a staple in Chapel Hill.
“5 Characteristics of Modern Minimalist House Designs.” YR Architecture + Design, 28 Feb. 2017, www.yr-architecture.com/5-characteristics-of-modern-minimalist-house-designs/.
Garner, Benjamin. “Interpersonal Coffee Drinking Communication Rituals.” International Journal of Marketing and Business Communication, vol. 4, no. 4, 2015, doi:10.21863/ ijmbc/2015.4.4.019.
“How Consumer Demand For Transparency Is Shaping the Food Industry.” Label Insight, Label Insight Inc., 2016.
Kibler, Sarah Paige. “The Impact of Branded Environments on User Preferences in Coffee Shops and Cafés.” Electronic Theses, Treatises and Dissertations, 1 July 2015.
Waxman, Lisa. “The Coffee Shop: Social and Physical Factors Influencing Place Attachment.” Journal of Interior Design, vol. 31, no. 3, 2006, pp. 35–53., doi:10.1111/j. 1939-1668.2006.tb00530.x.
Wognum, P.m. (Nel), et al. “Systems for Sustainability and Transparency of Food Supply Chains â Current Status and Challenges.” Advanced Engineering Informatics, vol. 25, no. 1, 2011, pp. 65–76., doi:10.1016/j.aei.2010.06.001.