Business & Real Estate

‘Starbucks of Taiwan’ opening in Sacramento

Patrons line up for the grand opening of an 85°C Bakery Cafe store.
Patrons line up for the grand opening of an 85°C Bakery Cafe store. 85°C Bakery Cafe

The popular 85°C Bakery Cafe is coming to Sacramento next summer.

The Taiwanese bakery chain is expected to open a store at 5591 Sky Parkway in south Sacramento in July. The location is in the Shun Fat Supermarket plaza, which serves the area’s Asian community.

Nicknamed the “Starbucks of Taiwan,” 85°C is favored for its large variety of freshly baked breads and cakes, along with specialty drinks like sea salt coffee. Founded in 2004, the chain quickly branched out overseas to China and Australia before establishing a foothold in the United States with the 2008 opening of a store in Irvine.

It’s not unusual for patrons to line up for hours, as the store’s reputation for delicious bread runs deep with its mostly Asian clientele.

“They are familiar with the brand in Asia,” said Emily Hu, a Southern California-based marketing director for 85°C. “We try to be a one-stop shop for the customer for any bakery goods.”

Hu touted the sheer number of options – 60 varieties of breads including the highly prized “marble taro” bun filled with taro, a root that is plentiful on the tropical island of Taiwan. 85°C caters to Asian palates, emphasizing freshly sliced fruit on cakes and less oil and sugar in its recipes, according to Hu.

Since establishing its first American outpost, 85°C has grown at a feverish pace throughout California. There are now six cafes in the Bay Area and 17 in Southern California. The chain has nearly 1,000 stores around the world, mostly in Taiwan and China.

Jason Wang, real estate manager for 85°C, said he is firmly committed to the Sacramento market, noting that further expansions to Elk Grove and Roseville are in the planning stages.

“If everything goes smoothly, this will be the first of many stores opening in the area,” he said.

The 3,200-square-foot Sacramento store is expected to employ around 50 people, Wang said.

Richard Chang: 916-321-1018, @RichardYChang