The backlash was swift and fierce for Third Culture Bakery, the popular Berkeley business that’s been flooded with criticism and calls for boycotts following a Chronicle article detailing the owners’ trademark of “mochi muffin.”
Outrage exploded on social media, particularly in food communities, at the idea of a bakery trademarking a common term and demanding other businesses stop using it. Third Culture employees started fielding “harassing” calls and messages on Wednesday, co-owner Wenter Shyu said. Yelp pages for Third Culture’s locations in Berkeley and Walnut Creek were flooded with so many negative reviews that they’ve been temporarily frozen because of “increased public attention,” reads a standard Yelp alert. People unearthed mochi muffin recipes that predated Third Culture’s founding, while social media feeds filled with appeals to boycott the business.