Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Food & Drinks
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Published on May 30, 2024
Third Culture Bakery to Close Its Beloved San Francisco Inner Sunset Location Amid Staff ChallengesSource: Google Street View

San Francisco's much-loved Third Culture Bakery will bid farewell to its Inner Sunset location this weekend. Citing difficulties in retaining staff and the impact on existing store operations, the AAPI-owned business will close its doors on June 2, having served the community for almost two years at this spot. In a statement on Instagram, owners Wenter Shyu and Sam Butarbutar expressed their gratitude to the customers and the neighborhood for their support throughout their tenure in San Francisco.

The closure of the Inner Sunset shop comes following the earlier shutdown of Third Culture's Mission District location, which was plagued by theft and distressing incidents directly affecting the store's facade and clientele. With the sale of the 549 Irving Street location to another AAPI business, MOMO TEAS, according to Eater SF, Third Culture aims to ensure that the local community continues to enjoy similar culinary delights and experiences.

Previously, Third Culture faced a daunting challenge as they were met with public backlash when they trademarked the phrase "mochi muffin." After the San Francisco Chronicle report highlighted that cease and desist letters were issued to other entities using the term, the owners ultimately decided to surrender the trademark amidst the wave of negative reactions.

Despite the closures, the bakery has plans to increase its engagement with patrons and enthusiasts. Shyu and Butarbutar are diving into more personalized ventures like matcha and tea workshops from their Berkeley headquarters and leading group tea tours to Taiwan. Also offering a glimpse into the creation of their mochi muffins and doughnuts, factory tours in Berkeley are set to start, the duo explained on Instagram. Customers can still visit their Berkeley and Walnut Creek locations, as highlighted in the Instagram post.