Popular Bay Area Mochi Muffins Head East

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Third Culture Bakery's mochi muffin (Third Culture Bakery)

Have you had a mochi muffin before? How about a mochi donut?

If the answer is yes, there's a good chance that muffin or donut came from Third Culture Bakery. Today, cofounders Sam Butarbutar and Wenter Shyu announced that their Third Culture Bakery — home of the Original Mochi Muffin — will open its first Colorado location this summer in Downtown Aurora.

Third Culture Bakery was founded in 2017, and the name comes from their personal experience growing up as “third culture kids” – children raised in a culture other than their parents. Their breakout product was the Original Mochi Muffin, inspired by the traditions of Hawaiian mochi and flavors found in Sam’s personal childhood in Indonesia, and their overall menu has expanded since then to include colorful mochi donuts, sweet and savory waffles, custard cakes and an array of colorful beverages.

An assortment of mochi donuts
An assortment of mochi donuts (Third Culture Bakery)

Butarbutar and Shyu opened their first retail showroom in West Berkeley last summer, and the Downtown Aurora showroom will mirror the original location in West Berkeley, complete with a commercial kitchen and retail storefront, where pastries will be sold alongside drinks including matcha, lychee sparklers, and coffee.


“Due to the success of Third Culture Bakery’s West Berkeley showroom, we’ve been working to see where we could open our next location,” says Shyu, Brand Director. “After our CFO, Rachel Taber, relocated to Denver from Berkeley, we started considering the area. Following a recent visit, we fell in love with the charm and burgeoning food scene in Downtown Aurora.”

“The products at Third Culture Bakery feature a variety of unique and sometimes hard-to-find ingredients from all over the world,” adds Butarbutar, Culinary Director. “I am thrilled to bring our one-of-a-kind menu offerings to a community that has become so near and dear to us.”

Partners Wenter Shyu (right) and Samuel Butarbutar (left)
Partners Wenter Shyu (right) and Samuel Butarbutar (left) (Third Culture Bakery)

As both partners in life and in business, Butarbutar and Shyu launched Third Culture Bakery in April 2017, and have taken the San Francisco Bay Area by storm with the famed Original Mochi Muffin, mochi donuts, waffles, custard cakes, and colorful drinks. You might have seen these tasty treats in Boba Guys, Home Cafe, and Matcha Cafe Maiko to name a few of the more than 50 cafes across the San Francisco Bay Area selling their wares.

No need to worry about saying goodbye to your mochi muffins! You'll still find the Third Culture Bakery headquarters in West Berkeley, CA, where guests can purchase pastries and drinks from the showroom, but Shyu and Butarbutar will make fewer appearances as they prep their newest showroom for success in the coming months. They will also continue to supply more than 50 cafes across the San Francisco Bay Area (Boba Guys, Home Cafe, and Matcha Cafe Maiko to name a few) with their baked goods.