Janet Platin, Creator of The Buttery (U.S.)
The Buttery is a much beloved gourmet patisserie in Santa Cruz, California. What does it take to run an artistic business that continues to give back to the community? Creator and entrepreneur Janet Platin shares her thoughts.
Style Mitzvah: How would you describe your aesthetics regarding your food and business?
Janet Platin: I'm always fascinated by food, fabric, pottery, and designs where you can see it's the work of the human hand and the human impulse to create. There is an energy about it and even a mystery to it. In food, this means rustic, not refined or overworked. In the design of the space it means staying true to the age of the building and it's origins.
Style Mitzvah: What is your creative process?
Janet Platin: When I'm really interested in something, I become completely obsessed with it.
I read, make lists, try out ideas, take classes and slowly -- over time -- distill my ideas until I have a clear picture of what I hope this thing will be. I've built a house, a business. I guess raising children was even a bit like that.
Style Mitzvah: I know that you are also a wonderful clothing designer and knitter - what is the artistic connection between textile color and design and your epicurean use of color and design?
Janet Platin: I'm not sure there is a connection between the two. Cooking, creating with yarn or fabric, are things I've done all my life, I'm happiest when I'm creating. It's centering, consoling; my way of showing care.
Style Mitzvah: How is your philosophy of business and desire to create, impacted by your commitment to the community and the desire to give back?
Janet Platin: Santa Cruz is such an interesting, vibrant community. Santa Cruzans see a need and fill it. We just like supporting some of what goes on here. Sometimes it's as simple as offering hot coffee and muffins to volunteers at a local school Halloween parade or lending support of various kinds to CASA, so they can provide advocates for children in foster care. We provide breakfast for visiting musicians at the Cabrillo Music Festival, host a site at Bike to Work Day. It's just fun to do your bit.