Get ready for mochi doughnuts, matcha lattes and a rainbow “dream-state” interior.
Third Culture Bakery’s long-awaited fourth location will open with a week of fanfare starting Oct. 13, when the Berkeley-based bakery known for mochi muffins finally unveils its first cafe concept in downtown Walnut Creek.
“After many pandemic-related delays, not being able to buy building materials, manufacturers not making equipment and countless staffing shortages preventing us getting our permits or work completed, our team has been through hoops of fire getting this newest shop PERFECT and ready for you,” the owners said in an email.
The owners, queer Asian immigrants and life partners Wenter Shyu and Sam Butarbutar, will start with a soft opening from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 13 followed by a ribbon cutting on Oct. 15 with officials from The City of Walnut Creek.
The bakery’s official grand opening starts Oct. 16, when the first 50 guests will receive a mystery gift card value from $5 to $100. They plan to do the same thing on Oct. 17. Super fans can purchase a limited VIP package that comes with six mochi muffins, six mochi doughnuts, two drinks and secret merchandise for $50. That offer comes with skip-the-line access, 20 percent off day-of purchases and is valid for Oct. 16 or 17 pick-up only.
Third Culture Bakery’s famous mochi doughnuts and muffins are made with California-grown mochiko rice flour from Koda Farms, organic butter and a house-made blend of pandan and coconut milk. The cafe, the first of its kind for this small yet growing Bay Area brand, will feature seasonal matcha desserts and sparkling iced matcha drinks made with a special roasted ceremonial matcha.
As Shyu told the East Bay Times back in May, the 700-square-foot shop is meant to help you temporarily forget the troubles of 2020 and evoke a dream state, with floor-to-ceiling holographic prism windows that reflect different colors throughout the day and interior walls wrapped in shiny chrome vinyl to make guests feel as though they are immersed in pink light.
“2020 was such a (expletive) year that we want everyone to dream inside a Third Culture shop and forget about reality,” they said in an email. “Entering a parallel universe with blurry chrome reflections and be immersed in different rainbow lights all around you as you sip dreamy matcha drinks.”