LYNNWOOD — Fast-growing eatery 85°C Bakery Cafe celebrated its opening in Lynnwood Friday with more than 150 people waiting in line to sample its varieties of drinks, breads, cakes and pastries.
“We bake all of our bread fresh each day,” general manager Terence Adamse said. “We bake 5,000 to 6,000 pieces of bread each day.”
The cafe is at 18700-A 33rd Ave. W, across the street from the Alderwood mall. The business employs up to 60 people.
The Taiwan-based chain draws its name from what founder Cheng-Hsueh Wu considers the perfect temperature for coffee — 85 degrees Celsius. (That’s 185 degrees Fahrenheit.)
Customers grab a tray and tongs and go through dozens of pastries that line shelves around the store, said Christopher Jocson, marketing manager. Cakes can be selected at the front.
“It’s meant to be interesting, it’s meant to be fun,” Jocson said. “People are able to pick what they want on a whim.”
There are tables, but more than half of the customers take out.
The company operates more than 1,000 locations around the world, but only 34 so far in the U.S. And 85°C Bakery Cafe only has restaurants in Texas, California and Washington. The chain first arrived in the U.S. in 2008 in Irvine, California.
The Lynnwood location is the second in the Puget Sound area; the first opened earlier this year at the Westfield Southcenter Mall in Tukwila.
The chain plans to open nine more locations around Washington in the next few years. Next up are sites planned for Federal Way this year and Bellevue in 2018.
Bestsellers include sea salt coffee, which is an iced espresso with whipped cream and a touch of salt. It’s won praise from a variety of media outlets, Jocson said. The idea came from the Taiwanese tendency to add salt to a variety of foods.
“Our master chefs thought, ‘We put salt on our fruit and we put salt on our pastries, why not do it with our coffee?’” Jocson said.
The most popular breads are brioche buns, a type of French bread, and marble taro, a sweet bread made with mixed grains and a signature taro filling.
While the company started in Taiwan, the company features baked goods and drinks from all over the world, and it has adapted its menu for each country where it lands. The Lynnwood location has 60 varieties of bread, 40 kinds of cakes and 40 types of espresso, slushies and other drinks. One of those is a cheesy hot dog pastry.
Among the crowd on Friday were sisters Jennie Wang, 22, and Jamie Wang, 25, of Mill Creek. They’ve tried the chain in California and enjoy the pastries and drinks. They said they were waiting to buy bags of pastries and breads for their parents.
“My advice for people coming is to be aware of the crowds, especially on the weekends,” Jennie Wang said. “Plan ahead.”