Third Culture Bakery Leaves Colorado
Third Culture Bakery, which brought its donuts and mochi muffins to metro Denver last year, is closing its Colorado stores and will refocus on its West Coast operations in 2022.
The brand debuted in Berkeley, Calif., in 2017. In January 2019, it signed a lease for a location at 9935 East Colfax Avenue in Aurora, with support from the city’s Restaurant Assistance Program. Aurora. Construction took a year, and the bakery opened on February 9, 2020 – just over a month before COVID-19 caused the restaurants inside to close.
Despite the challenges of operating during a pandemic, Third Culture’s chewy, springy, mochi-based baked goods proved popular, and a second matcha cafe and showroom opened at 2500 Lawrence Street in April. 2021. Facing staffing difficulties there, however, Third Culture recently closed those doors, and soon the Aurora Outpost will suffer the same fate. His last day of business will be December 31, when he will hand out free baked goods and champagne as a thank you to customers in Colorado from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (prior registration for the event is required).
“We are so grateful to our communities and guests in Colorado for their support,” Wenter Shyu, co-owner and brand manager of Third Culture Bakery, said in a statement about the closures. “But we are facing unprecedented pandemic-related challenges that prevent us from staying open here.”
Staffing shortages are a key factor in the decision, as are supply chain issues that have driven up commodity prices and made it difficult to source certain ingredients.
“When we signed our lease in Aurora, we gave ourselves five years to determine if we could expand our business into a whole new market,” Shyu notes. “Things were going extremely well for our first month in Colorado, but then a global pandemic started that changed everything.”
Fans of baked goods can still order online; domestic shipping is available. And since Third Culture debuted in metro Denver, several other mochi donut shops have popped up in the area, including Dochi, at 2449 Larimer Street; Jada’s Mochi Donuts, which offers delivery and pickup in Aurora Southeast; and Mochinutwhich recently opened at 2222 South Havana Street in Aurora.