Third Culture Bakery delivers freshly baked mochi cakes and matcha drinks to a growing client base, but the company does more than just food. These delights maintain and celebrate culture while being served in a loving and accepting environment. Third Culture Bakery has moved from its initial West Berkeley Showroom, which debuted in 2018, to collaborations with many of the top California Bay Area coffee shops to supply its delicious pastries to those who can't get enough. The Third Culture Bakery's narrative starts with a love story.
In Berkeley, Third Culture Bakery chef Sam Butarbutar met and fell in love with Wenter Shyu. They chose to open the bakery in 2016 as a tribute to the Indonesian and Taiwanese delicacies they grew up with. Sam designed their distinctive dish based on an Indonesian delicacy his mother baked in order to memorialize his estranged mother.
The two created the company out of love, but reality forced them to work around challenging schedules. They had arrangements with six wholesale coffee shops to provide the now-famous Mochi Muffins. Wenter had a full-time job, while Sam spent the day baking. They delivered pastries to wholesale clients at night, oftentimes seeing the sun rise as they concluded their deliveries. However, their long hours and hard labor paid off, as their Mochi Muffins became a cult favorite in the Bay Area. Third Culture Bakery's pastries give touches of nostalgia while keeping relevant to today's culture and preferences, and the audiences liked them. The two recruited their first staff a year after they opened. Third Culture Bakery has grown to more than 60 wholesale sites by 2018, with a huge crew of more than 20 bakers, delivery drivers, managers, and retail members.