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Seattle bakery makes reimagined cream puffs blending Eastern and Western flavors

AAPI-owned Milk and Mochi specializes in four types of cream puffs, sold at pop-ups around the Puget Sound. #k5evening

SEATTLE — The latest dessert offering in Seattle mixes a French pastry with Eastern and Western flavors.

Milk and Mochi bakery serves cream puffs with flavor combinations like raspberry lychee and strawberry yuzu.

Each batch is made by a two-person assembly line: sisters Hannah and Nancy Phan. The bakery’s name represents both their product and their personal experience.

Born in Vietnam, they spent most of their lives in Southern California and moved to Seattle roughly a decade ago.

"We wanted to create something that was unique to our own experience and our identity of being Asian Americans,” Nancy said. “Not fully Asian but also not fully Western. We're kind of in that in-between space which is what I think our cream puffs try to represent."

Credit: Maria Manio Photography
Sisters Nancy and Hannah Phan own and operate Milk and Mochi.

“We love French pastries, and as Vietnamese, I think we have a lot of French influence as well," Hannah added. "So, it seems familiar."

In addition to the lychee and yuzu offerings, they also make black sesame and matcha mochi cream puffs. Each pastry is dual-filled so customers have a different taste experience with every bite.

"Yuzu and lychee tend to be light flavors, but with the cream puff — because of the ratio between the pastry and the cream — you really get to taste them,” Nancy said.

The bakery is a labor of love for the sisters. They have day jobs and run Milk and Mochi on the side — which often means working overnight to turn out batches of cream puffs.

Credit: Kim Holcomb
The small bakery sells four flavors of cream puffs: black sesame, matcha mochi, raspberry lychee, and strawberry yuzu.

"Both of us professionally are from a consulting background, but I've always loved to share my food with other people,” Hannah said. "Our skills are very complementary, so it feels like we're just hanging out — except now, we have a product."

Their virtual experiences during the pandemic inspired them to launch the small business, which requires in-person interactions.

"We were really craving that sense of community and I feel like we've found it,” Nancy said.

Success came quickly. At their first pop-up inside Edmond’s Ono Poke, the sisters sold out in record time.

"Like 15-20 minutes, probably?” Nancy said, laughing. "The amount of support from the community we've received thus far has been mind-blowing. We're stunned."

Customers can pre-order cream puffs for pick-up at pop-ups. One box costs $18.50. Dates are announced on the bakery’s Instagram page.

The sisters hope their small business has a big impact by creating both a sweet and meaningful moment for customers.

"For people who have the same background as us, it's nostalgic to them. They're tasting flavors from their youth,” Nancy said. “And for people who aren't quite as familiar with black sesame or lychee or yuzu, hopefully, that sparks a new discovery for them."

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