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A Bay Area Bakery Is Bringing the Mochi Muffin Phenomenon to Denver

Third Culture Bakery opens on Aurora’s East Colfax this summer

Third Culture Bakery’s original #mochimuffin is super hot in San Francisco
Third Culture/Facebook

Mochi muffins and doughnuts, matcha custard cakes, and lychee sparklers are among the treats coming to the new Third Culture Bakery on East Colfax Avenue in Aurora this summer.

Based in Berkeley, California, Third Culture has gained a cult following around San Francisco for its muffins — they combine the texture of Hawaiian butter mochi with Indonesian Pandan leaf sugar and coconut. More goodies like mochi doughnuts are glazed with passion fruit and black sesame, and custard cakes come in varieties like churro and Thai tea.

Third Culture is the creation of business and life partners Sam Butarbutar and Wenter Shyu, who both previously operated their own bakeries in the Bay Area. They named this business after their experiences growing up in cultures outside their own. They started selling the cross-cultural mochi muffins at shops around SF before opening their showroom last year in Berkeley. Now, the Aurora shop, at 9935 East Colfax Avenue, will be Third Culture’s first outpost and out-of-state location.

Butarbutar, Shyu, and their CFO Rachel Taber (who’s based in Denver) want Third Culture to be a part of Aurora’s revitalizing Cultural Arts District. The new 2,300-square-foot store is across from the Fox Arts Center and on the same block as the new People’s Building. Some five new food businesses and restaurants are expected to open in the same neighborhood this summer.

Now for some baked goods fodder.