Multicultural bakery featuring mochi muffins? Sounds like a fit for Aurora

It’s known for its mochi muffins.

A mochi muffin from Third Culture Bakery. (Courtesy Third Culture)

A mochi muffin from Third Culture Bakery. (Courtesy Third Culture)

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The Denver area’s latest culinary transplant announcement comes from the Bay Area: Third Culture Bakery is moving into Aurora this summer.

We’ll leave the “Denver is becoming San Fran” work to you, dear readers. We’ll jump to the part about muffins.

Third Culture Bakery is known for its mochi muffins, inspired by Hawaiian mochi and flavors from culinary director Sam Butarbutar’s childhood in Indonesia. A press release describes the muffins as “dark amber in color with a sprinkling of black and white sesame seeds on top and specks of Indonesian palm sugar throughout,” with a chewy texture and slight crunch around the edges. The bakery also has mochi doughnuts, among other things.

The name comes from Butarbutar and brand director Wenter Shyu’s childhoods as “third culture kids” who grew up in cultures other than the ones where they are considered native. The food is meant to combine eastern flavors with their French culinary training.

“Wenter and I have always sought ways to infuse the ingredients of our childhoods into the pastry techniques and flavors we’ve experienced over the years,” Butarbutar said in a statement.

Third Culture first opened in 2017 and their food is now sold at 50 locations in the Bay Area. Their first move outside the area will be to 9935 East Colfax Ave., just over the border of Denver into Aurora, where they’ll have a 2,300 square feet for a storefront and commercial kitchen.

“We’re finally starting to see real attention in East Colfax, especially in the arts district,” Tim Gonerka, retail specialist for the City of Aurora, said in the press release. “There will be four or five new restaurants opening in the neighborhood around the same time this summer. Third Culture Bakery is one of those, and it’s bringing something truly new that we think residents and visitors will love.”

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