Below is our interview with Wenter Shyu, Co-Founder of Third Culture Bakery:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to your company?
A: We are Third Culture Bakery, foods and drinks inspired by our upbringing as Third Culture Kids, kids who grew up in a different culture than of their parents, forming a ‘third’ interpretation for themselves from the 2 cultures. We lead with our flagship product; The Original Mochi Muffin, which is inspired by a dessert Chef Sam Butarbutar used to make with his mom growing up in Indonesia. Every ingredient we use and every product we make has a story to tell and we hope to always lead with our hearts, one Mochi Muffin at a time.
Q: Can you give us more insights into what makes your company unique?
A: What makes our company unique is that we truly use a farm-to-table approach in a fast-paced casual bakery environment – using local French-style butters and dairy, using sesame seeds from an 11th generation farm in Japan, using rice flour from a 3rd generation family farm in Central California. We also lead the bakery with our stories and identities and really put our own true selves out there as a proud queer married couple, children of immigrants starting a business together in America.
Q: Can you give us insights into your products?
A: Our products are made using Mochiko rice flour exclusively so everything is 100% naturally gluten free and use other Asian ingredients to create a perfect blend and mixture of different cultures. We’ve been told our products bring a sense of nostalgia by many of our customers but also a sense of intrigue.
Q: What can we expect from your company in the next 6 months? What are your plans?
A: We are very excited for our newest store to open in the next month or so in the Mission in San Francisco – our very first San Francisco city proper store after being asked for it for many years. We are also looking to launch new products that we’ve been working on for the last year or so. And to expect more parties and more events to celebrate Queer and Asian American excellence.
Q: What are some of the main objectives for your company in the year ahead and how do you plan to achieve them?
A: In the year ahead, we want to focus on our San Francisco city expansion and to expand our team to support the new stores. We want to also have more parties and to celebrate being able to celebrate again (as safely and as mindful as we can of course) and to continue to do assemble and distribute more safety kits to distribute for AAPI elders or any others that may need it in the communities we serve.
Q: What is the best thing about your company that people might not know about?
A: Many people might not know the insane amount of time and resources we spend on giving back and responding to incidents in our communities. During the pandemic, we provided financial support to emergeny relief funds in the queer and trans community – those affected by the shut downs that couldn’t afford their medical supplies or treatments, bills, etc.
In 2021, in response to the spike in attacks on Asian elders and folks, we assembled and distributed personal safety alarms and kits to senior homes, Chinatown organizations in the Bay Area, New York, Los Angeles, Denver, and more. We are still actively producing and handing these kits out now to whoever may need them. To date, we’ve distributed over 20,000+ safety kits with the help of many volunteers and family and friends.Activate Social Media: