Alien's Day Out

Window Bakery Collection / Winter 2012

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So this past weekend I participated in this event called the ‘Window Bakery Collection.’ For a bit of background info, the WBC was created a few years ago by a group of small independent bakeries/cafes to showcase specialty artisanal breads, pastries, coffee beans, chocolates, and ddeok. It’s all planned and organized by the participating companies, in partnership with Sinsaegae department store. The event goes on for one weekend and it’s entirely free to the public and you get to go around each booth tasting free samples. There was a total of 12 participating companies this year and amazingly, I had the honor of being one of them! As a homebaker who doesn’t even have my own storefront, I felt completely honored and also unworthy because the other participants are so well-known and established in the community and I respect them sooo much. Like Pain de Papa bakery, May Bell Bakery, and Libre Coffee Roasters in particular. Despite the language barriers and me feeling shy and awkward most of the time, everyone couldn’t have been more kind and welcoming.

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Here are some photos of us in the planning process (I’m in the pink top). We look so serious, haha. We met up almost every week for about 1 1/2 months… Most of these people already know each other since they have been organizing this WBC for a few years now. As one of the newbies, they gave me so much encouragement and support, and I just feel incredibly lucky just to be in the vicinity of their company.

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Every single one of them is just so…. kind and nice. Honestly. One might expect them to be snobby and ‘too cool for school,’ but they are all so humble and generous.

So anyway, flash forward to this past weekend. Early on Saturday morning, I lugged all my baked goods and supplies to the Sinsaegae department store to set up my booth. I had to frost most of my cupcakes on-location because I didn’t want to risk them getting damaged during transportation, so it was a stressful morning trying to get everything set up in time. But when it finally got done, here’s what it looked like:

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The all-vegan Alien’s Day Out booth. I made a bunch of cupcakes and cookies for the display, and then behind that wooden partition we hid a huge stack of carrot and red velvet sheet cakes for the samples.

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My winter themed cupcake display. If anyone’s wondering, I got this polka dot cupcake tower from here. It’s made of cardboard, not plastic and it’s collapsible for easy transportation. Love it.

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Gnoa from Botton brought most of these cute accessories for decorating my booth. Only the ceramic alien is mine (made by my artist friend Holly).

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Red velvet cupcakes, frosted by Gnoa. She not only helped me with frosting, but she provided all the cake trays and christmas tree ornaments! My booth would’ve been so boring and ugly without her help.

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Poop cupcakes again. Das how i do~

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Marble cake with chocolate ganache and nuts on top. Shoulda taken a photo when it was cut… :(

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A few cookies for display… green tea, strawberry drops, gingerbread men, and chocolate snickerdoodles.

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Business cards for people to take.

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As soon as the doors were opened a whole swarm of people flooded in and started to line up at every table to taste the samples. Hehehe. You can barely see me peeking through the heads. Do you see the fear in my eyes? haha.

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Talked to a bunch of people who were curious about vegan baking and what I do. I also met some other Korean vegans who specifically came out to try my vegan treats. :) But enough about me. Here are some of the other participants:

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오븐과 주전자 Bakery (translates to ‘Oven & Tea Kettle’). This bakery makes delicious vegan whole wheat bread that is hearty, dense and filled with goodness.

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The bakery and owner is awesome and every time I see him he’s wearing a different colored pair of pants.

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Pain de Papa chef. He’s really nice and has a quiet sense of humor. I was a bit star struck when I first met him because you guys know just how much I LOVE his bakery.

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Bread Lab. The owner of this bakery is so awesomely geeky. His booth has test tubes and beakers!

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Maison de Zoe’s booth. This dessert shop specializes in French macarons, but they do practically any kind of dessert.

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Such elegant fanshy desserts by Le Petit Four, another pastry shop.

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Piaf (a chocolate shop) had chocolate spread for people to sample. Too bad it wasn’t vegan, but it looked creamy-delicious. The pretty lady with the firey torch is from DesserTree, a studio cafe around Gangnam. There was also a gorgeous ddeok booth, but I didn’t get any photos of it. Argh, sorry. :(

And in the middle of the room, there were two coffee booths.

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Here’s the sharply-dressed Coffee Libre crew doing their thang. Coffee Libre is one of the best independent roasters in Seoul and have a loyal cult following.  They know everything about beans, roasting, brewing, dripping, espresso machines, aeropress, etc. They don’t take themselves too seriously, but they don’t mess around when it comes to coffee!!

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The one and only Revolucion espresso machine, designed and made in Korea. Coffee Libre showed off its beast of a machine for the coffee geeks, and ofcourse their handsome baristas for all the laaadies~

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The adorable MOMOS crew all the way from Busan. For all you coffee drinkers down south in the Bu’, MOMOS is the place to get legit coffee.

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The theme of this season’s WBC was ‘Communication though 5-senses’ (basic translation). The idea was to not just let people taste samples, but to give them a more complete experience and to learn more about each of our different crafts, whether it be how to brew the perfect cuppa coffee, or how to temper chocolate.

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Ohdeargod, what is happening. How did I end up on this stage?

Yea, I also did a presentation about the basics of vegan baking and vegan substitutions. That’s me in the dark top and my chef friend is translating for me. I was rather unprepared but despite all that and my fear of public speaking, I made it though alive. I just wish my Korean was better so that I wouldn’t have to rely on a translator. Maybe it’s time I learn some proper formal Korean. People’s responses were also really positive though and it’s really clear that Koreans are becoming more and more interested in the vegan lifestyle and vegan baking.

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A mochi ddeok demonstration by Biwon ddeok house. 비원떡집

Anyway, the whole thing was a blur. I knew there would be a lot of people, but I don’t think I was fully ready for just how many…. Once things got rolling I barely had time to sit down and I didn’t even leave my booth except to take one quick walk around and snap a few random shots for the blog. I really wish I had taken more photos now….. especially more of the other amazing booths. I plan on eventually hitting up all the actual store fronts so that I can do them justice in a proper blog post. Something to look forward to, yay!

Once it was over, I was completely exhausted, but so happy too… Like we had accomplished something pretty cool, ya know? I have to say, I did feel a lot of pressure the past month and was stressing out about it, but now that the WBC is over, I feel a big weight off my shoulders and I can finally relax a bit. :) I’m happy that I can get back to regular life and my normal schedule.

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All together now! And our eco bag souvenirs with little drawings representing each of us.

I’m so grateful for this experience and I have so many people to thank: Everyone who came out to support me, the head organizers of the event who invited me to be a part of it, and all the helpers (students from a baking school) who volunteered their weekend to hand out samples and talk to the people. This was by no means a one man show. And I also owe a huge thank you to my mom, and also to Gnoa from Botton who helped in so many ways. When I think about how much everyone did for me, I get a little teary eyed and I just want to hug the world. Thank you~~~ xoxo

Feel free to leave a comment!

17 Comments

  1. Amazing post, M! Glad to see Alien’s Day Out expanding its vegan goodness to more and more Koreans! The only bad thing about this post is I can’t eat the yummy pictures. :/

  2. Way to gooo sis!! Congrats on your first window bakery show case! :) :) Who would have thought you would become a legit baker and business woman! I think its time you start designing your store front!!! :)

  3. a smile appeared on my face when i sore the stall setup, it looks great!

  4. This event looks adorable, educational, and so worthwhile from beginning to end. I am totally impressed with your skills and your ability to produce so many high-quality goods from your HOME KITCHEN, for Pete’s sake. (I’m pretending I don’t see the p–p cupcakes [see, I can't even type the word--so repressed! LOL eek].)

    I had no idea you were not fluent in Korean. I guess it’s because of your international upbringing, right? I mean, I’ve met a number of children of Korean immigrant parents (which I understand is different from your background) in the US who have a good command of everyday Korean because of speaking it at home but don’t have that “first-language” fluency. So I’m doubly impressed with how much you’ve accomplished and the mark you’ve made.

    • Hi LU! Thank youuuuu~~~ Yea, my Korean is probably at the level of a 6th grader. I can understand almost everything when people are talking to me, but speaking in the formal Korean with high-level vocab, and reading and writing are another story. I’ve gotten better since I’ve been in Korea, but I think it might be a good idea for me to learn Korean properly… hehe

  5. 제사진 하나만 가져갈게요. 미파님^^^^^^^^*

  6. Great work Mipa!! Everything you made looks so adorable and delicious! Very pretty setup, so happy things are going well for you~ The other boots looks awesome as well, such talented people ^^

  7. Mipa! are you remember me? i was your helper 진주! 수고했어요^^ see you soon!

  8. wow! mipa! this is amazing!!!! i am so excited you got this opportunity!!! just one of many more to come ^_^

  9. Pingback: May Bell Bakery @ Itaewon | Alien's Day Out

  10. Cool event, I hope event like this will show in my country, lots of great photos, make me wanna touch the photos and pick them out of screen. Mipa, congratulation for the stage speaking and joining this event, in the future a lot of good things will come out for you. I wish you’re living in my country so I will ask you to be my teacher.

  11. I wish I had made it to the bake day thing at SSG. Looks like you were hosting a cooking show!

  12. Pingback: 오븐과 주전자 ‘Oven and Tea Kettle’ Bakery @ Hapjeong | Alien's Day Out

  13. The penguin cupcakes in the glass cabinet look absolutely adorable!!! I totally wish there was an event as awesome as this where I live :’)

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