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Third Culture Bakery in Berkeley, CA

(This article appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)

Sam Butarbutar and Wenter Shyu, Owners

Company Mission

Our mission is to make pastries and foods that are reflective of our upbringing as ‘third culture kids’. Being queer Asian immigrants, we use our platform and pastries to change hearts and minds, one mochi at a time.

Signature Product

Our Original Mochi Muffin®. We started the bakery making just that single item for the first year (in 2017), and then other flavors and our butter mochi-style donuts came a year later, in 2018.

Production Tip

Using ingredients across multiple menu items and stretching the usage of singular ingredients for ease of production, inventory management, and more. This takes being really creative for how you offer your menu items, but will be so rewarding in the long run.  We suggest investing in proper machinery to make the work easier and smoother, and oftentimes safer.

Equipment ‘Must-Haves’

Long heat-resistant spatulas – they are lifesavers! Also, when we grew into it, we invested in an automation machine that helped pipe all of our 200,000-plus muffins a month – gamechanger.

Secret of Success

Truly knowing who you are as a company, what your products are, and finding your voice through it all.  Once we found our voice and who we were (in a kind and respectful manner, of course), we started soaring, and it resonated with customers and beyond.  We’re living our truth through the bakery, and that resonates.

Future Goals

Now that we have four years and four locations under our belt, we are taking all of that experience and expanding quicker and faster, so that we can create more safe places for more people to enjoy and feel safe and loved in. We want people to come into our shops and spaces and celebrate who they are and enjoy some damn good pastries and hand-whisked matcha drinks. Our bakery exists because of love, and we want to share that love one little mochi at a time.

Photos courtesy of Third Culture Bakery

Visit www.thirdculturebakery.com for more info

Pastry Arts Magazine is the new resource for pastry & baking professionals designed to inspire, educate and connect the pastry community as an informational conduit spotlighting the trade.