With streamers, balloons and a line wrapping around the front of the building, 85°C Bakery and Cafe opened its doors in the community Jan. 12, bringing the popular international bakery and coffee chain to Federal Way.
It was nothing less than 85°C Federal Way general manager Terence Adamse expected.
“This is a normal grand opening for us,” he said.
Since its first store was launched in 2004 in Taiwan, 85°C, which specializes in bread, cakes and pastries, as well as coffee and other beverages, has developed a fan following all over the United States, including Western Washington, and news of the store’s grand opening spread by word of mouth in Federal Way months before the store opened.
Adamse said the Federal Way location, 31503 Pacific Highway S., is 85°C Bakery Cafe’s third in Washington, with the other two in Tukwila and Lynnwood. The company wanted to expand further south in King County while still staying relatively close to the Seattle area, and Federal Way was ideal.
“We thought Federal Way was just a good central location for us,” Adamse said. “We actually want to have this become our flagship store in Washington state.”
Currently, there are 43 85°C Bakery Cafes in the United States, 1,020 globally. The company intends to open more stores in Western Washington soon, Adamse said.
“We want to open up four to five more by the end of this year,” he said.
The Federal Way location was designed with future stores in mind.
While the entire building is more than 5,000 square feet, the front of the house, with the bakery displays, cash registers, cafe and seating area, takes up a small portion.
The back of the house, where the baking is done, also has a large area set aside for training. Because Federal Way is intended to be the center of 85°C Bakery Cafes in the region, the extra space will be used to host all leadership and management classes.
Adamse said organizers are excited to be open in Federal Way, especially after encountering unexpected delays that pushed back the store’s opening.
“It was a long time in the making,” he said. “We think we’re going to do really well here.”
Adamse estimates the Federal Way store will employ between 80 to 100 employees, including front and back house teams and management.
85°C Bakery Cafe was founded by Cheng-Hsueh Wu, a Taiwanese business man, who came up with the store concept after stopping at a cafe in a five-star hotel and realizing the prices were too expensive for people to visit the establishment off the street, according to the company’s website.
He envisioned opening a bakery and cafe that offers quality items at affordable prices. The store was so successful that more stores were planned internationally.
“We’re known as the Starbucks of Taiwan,” Adamse said.
According to the company website, the business gets its name because of the belief coffee develops the best flavor when it is brewed at a temperature of 85 degrees Celsius. The company even uses its own beans that are grown and harvested in Guatemala to brew all of its coffees.
Adamse said 85°C Bakery Cafe is really known for its breads, however, with more than 60 varieties available and a product and development team creating new recipes based on popularity and trends in different countries. The stores also introduce a new kind each month.
“So we take our influences from all over the world,” Adamse said.
Adamse said the bread dough is made in California and shipped to the different locations to be baked daily. In addition to bread, the company has more than 30 kinds of cakes and pastries. In Washington, they are baked daily at the Tukwila location, Adamse said.
“That’s one thing that sets us apart — our variety,” Adamse said.
85°C Bakery Cafe is located in Pavilions Centre shopping complex down from H-Mart and Barnes & Noble.
It is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday; and from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays.
Beginning Feb. 15, the store will start accepting pre-orders, where customers can place a bakery order 48 hours in advance so it is waiting for them when they arrive.
The store’s phone number is 206-429-2506.
“We want to make it convenient for people,” Adamse said.
For more information on 85°C, or to see the menu, go to 85cbakerycafe.com.