Third Culture Bakery
Third Culture Bakery serves freshly baked mochi pastries and matcha drinks to a growing number of customers, but this business is about more than just food. These treats keep and show off culture, and they are given out in a loving and accepting way. Third Culture Bakery’s first location, in West Berkeley, opened in 2018. Since then, it has partnered with many of the best coffee shops in the Bay Area to sell its popular pastries to people who can’t get enough. The Third Culture Bakery’s story starts with a love story.
In Berkeley, Sam Butarbutar, the chef at Third Culture Bakery, met and fell in love with Wenter Shyu. In 2016, they decided to open the bakery as a tribute to the pastries they ate as kids in Indonesia and Taiwan. Sam made their signature dish based on an Indonesian dessert his mother made. This is a way for him to remember the good times he had with his mother, who he no longer lives with.
The two started their business out of love, but their busy lives made it hard to work together. They kept track of how many famous Mochi Muffins they sent to six wholesale coffee shops. Wenter had a full-time job, and Sam spent the whole day baking. They delivered the pastries to their wholesale accounts at night, and most of the time they did this while watching the sun rise.
Their long hours and hard work paid off, though, because their Mochi Muffins became a Bay Area favorite. People loved how the pastries at Third Culture Bakery had hints of the past while still being relevant to today’s culture and tastes. After being open for a year, the two of them hired their first employee. By 2018, Third Culture Bakery had grown to more than 60 wholesale locations and had a large team with more than 20 bakers, delivery drivers, managers, and retail members.