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[New in Town] Salt butter bread variations are on point at Artist Bakery

London Bagel Museum and Artist Bakery CBO Lee Hyo-jung talks about brand identity

Jan. 13, 2024 - 16:01 By Kim Da-sol
Artist Bakery (Kim Da-sol/Ther Korea Herald)

London Bagel Museum is a household name in Korea when it comes to the bakery scene here. It is not an exaggeration that this top-rated fresh-baked bagel and hot soup brunch place that opened in 2021 led huge bagel boom here. People also visit here just to experience the exotic atmosphere inside the café that has an eccentric British aesthetic. There are currently four London Bagel Museum stores across the country -- Anguk, Dosan, Jamsil and Jeju.

Lee Hyo-jung, Chief Brand Officer of LBM Corporation – which stands for London Bagel Museum -- opened a new cafe brand just last month. This time, she is trying out a different flavor variety with salt butter bread, also known as sogeumbbang here, which originated from Japan’s Shio pan.

Salt butter bread variations at Artist Bakery (Kim Da-sol/Ther Korea Herald)
Salt butter bread variations at Artist Bakery (Kim Da-sol/The Korea Herald)

Located near Anguk Station on Subway Line No. 3 where tourists stop by to visit Bukchon Hanok Village or Jogyesa Temple, Artist Bakery was easy to spot -- a crowd of people in front of the shop either waiting in line or taking pictures in front of the shop draw attention.

Artist Bakery tries to create a European atmosphere with handwritten signage and scratched wooden floors. Staff in white gowns or aprons -- matching the black-and-white color scheme of the shop -- greet each customer as they walk in.

You can taste London Bagel Museum’s bestsellers here, such as potato cheese, spring onion cream cheese and truffle, but as takes on salt butter bread, instead of bagels.

So why do people flock here?

The salt butter bread here is chewy and soft. Also, it is a joy both visually and in the mouth, with creative toppings and ingredients from blueberry to cinnamon to basil pesto.

Also, you can try out chocolate, fig and wholegrain baguettes, and baguette sandwiches. But this section seemed less popular among visitors, as London Bagel Museum and Artist Bakery are better known for their desserts, rather than savory items.

The baguette section at Artist Bakery (Kim Da-sol/Ther Korea Herald)

Asked what differentiates Artist Bakery from the rest, its CBO Lee Hyo-jung suggested professionalism and self-confidence.

“We prepared this brand for more than a year, based on each staff’s diligence – which I believe is the biggest talent. Regardless of the speed (of the brand’s expansion), you try every day and build the layer each day, that becomes the brand and can appeal to the customers,” Lee told The Korea Herald.

Citing the message that is written on the bread wrapping paper -- "I love everything about bread and there is no bad bread in the world” -- Lee said Artist Bakery was established to deliver the staff’s sincere energy about bread.

She added that “sincerity” about the bread they make is what matters in the country’s ever-evolving bakery market.

“(My dream and goal in life) is to see the world where being yourself is not difficult. I wish every one of you could live your own life. With that mindset (at Artist Bakery,) I hope to build happy layers of life together,” she said.

Artist Bakery goods (Kim Da-sol/Ther Korea Herald)

Artist Bakery

Address: 167 Anguk-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m every day

Instagram: artistbakery

Price: 3,800 won to 7,800 won for salt butter bread variations

From the hippest Korean eateries to global restaurants’ Seoul branches, The Korea Herald tries out new dining spots in its New In Town series. The Korea Herald pays for all visits. - Ed.