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Mar 22, 2013 01:49 PM

85 Degrees C (85C) Bakery Taiwanese chain coming to Bay Area (potentially Newark / Union City / Fremont)

The hiring ad:

Guessing it will anchor somewhere along one of the 99 Ranch market complexes. No further details yet.

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  1. Exciting news for sure. I used to be a regular at the Irvine location and now have to wait to get my fix when I go down to visit. 85C is a step above Paris Baguette and Sheng Kee IMO so it would be a welcome addition to the asian bakery scene up here.

    1. noticed shopping complex in chinese newspaper shows an East West bank. newark lists one on newark blvd.

      there's a tea king in this complex. guessing that's the spot.

      or a spot vacated recently by Goldilocks. doubtful. space is too big.
      Lido's saigon just opened in this complex recently.

      1. The question is whether it's coming too late. As the link indicates they are aggressively expanding their US presence. However there are questions as to whether they are compromising their product in their drive to massively expand. They are shifting production to a single, central facility, and there are complaints that it's not as good as it used to be. I guess even in its diluted state it might be better than many of its competitors, but hey, adding lots of butter to your baked goods does make it taste good.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Chandavkl

          just happened to be in ranch 99 (newark) this past weekend. walked past the "bakery". saw them unwrapped premade layered cakes wrapped in plastic.

          assume they then applied whipped cream, fruits, etc.
          they had spatulas in hand. didn't hang around to witness the gory details.

          consumers can decide whether they want premade factory pastries or "made" on the premises cakes.

          1. re: shanghaikid

            Assuming 85C quality from Irvine keeps up for Newark, it is still miles better than NorCal Sheng Kee, 99 Ranch, and all the Sogo Bakeries in the South Bay, using those as equivalent types of competitors. Kee Wah would be a similar class competitor with the quality (in NorCal). Some might like Paris Baguette more (which is a Korean approach to western), and the only place that would trump it is Satura Cakes, but it's apples to oranges in this case.

            The interesting thing to note according to the Chinese newspaper article I linked, the Irvine branch generates revenue equivalent to ten 85 C locations in Taiwan... so the market is a lot bigger in the USA. I guess the local Taiwanese aren't too crazy about all that butter, but the kids do (and they love their boba way more).

            1. re: K K

              I once went by the 85°C location in Irvine. I thought a theater had let out--at least a hundred, maybe more people waiting to get inside the store. Never saw that outside of any kind of eatery.

              1. re: K K

                During the past 2 weeks, I have been driving by a 85C location in Taichung, Taiwan and there were never more than half a dozen people in the store. Almost every block has a boutique bakery selling similar or fancier looking stuff with the goal to make the entire island diabetic.

                1. re: K K

                  Taiwan 85C and US ones are completely different though :/

                  - Dirt cheap, good quality
                  - Really fresh (bread comes out of the oven non-stop)
                  - Lots of variety
                  - The taro bun. I bought about 20 of these last time I went down to LA. Most people said I was crazy until they started agreeing that this is the best (taste & value).

                  - Most breads are really quite weak, with the sole exception of the awesomeness that is the taro bun.
                  - The waiting line in Irvine. Other places are okay.
                  - Having to buy 3 boxes as souvenirs

                  Sheng Kee & Sogo are pretty low quality stuff (they still have a few good items), with Sogo strictly worse than SK.
                  The new Kee Wah in Cupertino is nice.
                  Paris Baguette is comparable to 85C. Lots of hype, lots of variety, modern, fancy-looking breads that just downright suck. However, I think PB cakes are amazingly delicious and well-balanced.

                  For some good lesser-known bakeries, try Meka Bakery in Milpitas (inside the Marina grocery), or Lepi D'or in Cupertino (next to Joann's).

                  1. re: daymare

                    Agreed on their taro bun!

                    Veering off-topic, but Lepi D'or is a mixed bag. Some of their baked goods are way too dry, i.e., really large pan with only a small topping or filling. But their chocolate bun (the one with the chocolate chips on top) is divine, especially if you get it fresh, when it's still runny inside.

                    1. re: daymare

                      I went to Paris Baguette once and tried a bunch of items and came away very unimpressed. Nothing I bought made me want to go back, and I haven't.

                2. re: Chandavkl

                  I don't think expansion has been a problem (in terms of acceptance, anyway) for 85度C. In Shanghai, they went from one outlet in 2006 to well over 100 and counting today.


                  The article says basically they have their eyes set on the Lidofaire plaza that houses the Saigon Seafood restaurant (10k square feet) and 99 Ranch, and could be a drawing board idea at the moment that's ideal to the business. The opening date and logistics are otherwise undecided.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: K K

                    I walked by Wed 5/22/13 the whole stretch of Lido Faire Plaza, Newark and there is No sign for 85C anywhere. I did call 85C Bakery in Irvine, guy I talked to said it'll probably be 2014 before we see it in Newark, he had no date to give me.

                    I hope they put it in the vacant spot 35201-V it's a huge spot for a bakery, the old Goldilocks, other vacant spots are too small.

                    1. re: hhc


                      Meaning they are still in the early stages (of planning) with no set date. And I don't see this changing within the next few months unless they make some solid announcement...

                      1. re: hhc

                        Construction is still going on in the space a couple doors down from the 99 Ranch (Newark). I would say at least a month or two away, if not more. Seems rather a small place, at least compared to the ones down in LA. Although I do find it a bit odd that it is in this particular shopping center. Nothing against Newark, but Newark???? I would have thought Milpitas, Cupertino?

                        Anyways, at least this shopping center has decent number parking spaces, unlike most places.

                    2. My favorite bakery on the planet, I think it's light years ahead of Paris Baguette too. Their salted ice coffee is addictve and I can eat a dozen of their pastries piping hot out of the oven. I'm a little worried about this "central facility". Are they shipping everything pre-baked/wrapped? That would be a HUGE mistake.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Bunson

                        Definitely. At the Hacienda Heights locations, they would bring freshly baked items out of the kitchen on trays. Very funny to see the servers being swarmed by the patrons who were looking for the freshest items!

                        1. re: Peter Yee

                          I've been one of the swarmers at that location. :)

                          1. re: pley

                            Then you've probably also been subject to the long (legendary?) weekend queues to get in as well! I can only imagine how bad it will be here when 85 Degrees C opens up a Bay Area branch.

                            1. re: Peter Yee

                              Well hopefully they'll figure that out. The problem with the Irvine store was that it was much too small as they didn't recognize how popular they would be. Consequently when one or two hundred people descend on a small storefront it's total chaos. Their third location in West Covina is gigantic and pretty much neutralizes the crowds. Of course it helps that there are the three locations in the LA area to spread out the traffic.

                              1. re: Peter Yee

                                It's too far for me to go often, but when I have gone, including weekend, I never encountered really bad lines. They need to open yet another one further west in the east side, like Pasadena or Arcadia.