From empty bars to our first North Beach storefront

Decorative line drawing of cake and pastries
Buttercream Beginnings
I started baking cakes for friends and family during culinary school in an attempt to reinvent the sweet, dry, and unimaginative cakes they were used to. When the pandemic hit, I was able to use empty restaurant spaces to start making cakes on a larger scale in an effort to get by during my assumed brief unemployment. As I continued to develop my style of balanced, textured, and playful cakes word began to spread, I became booked and busy and I went all in on buttercream.  

Over the course of the next few years I popped around a few commercial kitchens inside bars and restaurants. Shared spaces provided the perfect way to expand to meet the growing demand organically and thoughtfully, while providing struggling pandemic businesses with an extra revenue stream. I fought past red tape, I hired assistants, got my products into grocery stores, designed websites, purchased big mixers and freezers and built my business backwards all while elbow deep in butter
Sophie makes a cake.
Sophie eats a pastry and coffee on European riverbank.
Parisian Summer
After almost three years veering on burnout, I decided to turn off my ovens for a bit to chase my dream of mastering laminated pastry. I spent two months at Ecole Ducasse in Paris, followed by a viennoiserie internship at the fabulous bakery Boulangerie Baptist, all while traveling to every corner of the city to try all of the pastries I possibly could get my hands on - for research, of course. I was hooked.
Bacon egg and cheese pastrySophie teaching croissant classUnbaked, rolled croissantsStack of unbaked "morty P" pastries
The "Sweet Easy"
Back in SF, my assistant Nicki and I set up shop in the back of a bar in the Marina and called it our "Sweet Easy" for those in the know. Every weekend, we put a table on the sidewalk by the back entrance of the bar, rolled out our speed rack and served pastries that we couldn't stop gushing over until we sold out. Before we knew it lines were shooting down the block, we were selling out, and it was far more than the two of us could manage with the limited equipment we could squeeze in our tiny hidden kitchen space. The only reasonable next step was to look for a retail shop so we could have more space to hire a bigger team, get better equipment and really do our best work.
Sophie and Nicki with celebratory cake
271 Francisco St. Storefront picture
Our First Storefront
We fell in love with this North Beach space, home of the beloved Tante Marie's Cooking School which my mom attended back in her day. Through my hard earned business savings and a bond funded by customer investment with SMBX, we raised money to sign the lease and make it our own. Our team came together through B&C's pastry fanatic network, and we had so much fun. We ran into our fair share were incredibly fortunate to have a. community who rallied so strongly behind us to get our doors open.
What's Next
Since we opened our doors in Oct 2023, our team has grown into a group of extremely hardworking, dedicated and passionate girlies who are taking the SF pastry scene by storm. I am so proud and grateful of what we have accomplished, and we continue to get better and better everyday. We could not be more appreciative of the support we have received and I feel incredibly humbled and honored to experience the community's excitement over what we are doing every single day! I continue to love what I do, to perfect my pastries, teach others, and share my passion in this gorgeous North Beach hub. Who knows what the future holds, but our aspirations are to stay small but masterful. As long as I get to stay at my lamination station rolling pastries everyday, I call it a success. We hope to share our flaky treats with you soon!
Team picture at Butter & Crumble

Thank you to our collaborators!

Kelsey Guarino

Kelsey Guarino is now a co-founder of bythelocals design, a full service interior design studio.

bythelocals brings you interior design that is authentic to your business, and resonates with your community, crafting a space that goes beyond aesthetics to emphasize the most important part of your business - bringing the neighborhood together.

Find her at or reach out to

7 Hills

Our contractor team Michael and Jennifer from 7 Hills built out Kelsey's creations with an incredible attention to detail and responsiveness to our needs. They went above and beyond to work on a tight timeline and again, budget, to make sure we were left with a space with lasting functionality that we loved.

Abanico Coffee

Abanico is a roastery in the Mission that is  committed to providing quality by sourcing a fine global selection of specialty coffee, roast in small batches and develop roasts for each unique coffee. Founder Ana Valle supports women entrepreneurs around the world in the sourcing of her coffee. Check out her wonderful shop for specialty coffee drinks at 2121 Mission Street

Urban Virgo Flower Truck

Urban Virgo Flower Truck is a four-wheeled flower purveyor run by Julie, who supplies our beautiful flower decorative arrangements and retail bouquets. Julie provides local delivery, workshops and arrangements for intimate events. Her bouquets are whimsical and unique, she is a true artist. Follow her truck or grab a bouquet from us!