Start ups

Post image for Melody Hu launches Petit Bakery with Asian mochi the “secret sauce”

A new bakery springs from the prolific rental kitchen of Studio Cake in Menlo Park. At the beginning of the year, Melody Hu launched her patisserie business, Petit Bakery Co.

A native of Taiwan who moved to the Bay Area in her teens, she admits to falling into — rather than planning — her newest venture. “I ate a lot of sweet rice treats growing up, and when I lived in Paris, I did a lot of entertaining while working in the luxury watch business,” she said.

“I met and married a French man. After I had kids, I quit my corporate job and became a free lance translator and editor of cookbooks. And I watched a lot of cooking and pastry shows on TV!”

Back in the Bay Area, she started experimenting with sweet rice flour to make cookies. “My husband thought they were great and urged me to sell them,” she said.

As her website explains: “Petit Bakery Co. is the home of the original Mochi Madeleines and innovator of Mochi Cupcakes. We use the Asian mochi rice, combined it with French madeleines or American cupcakes and created something new… small bites of fusion delights!”

Locals can sample her creations at Cafe Zoë in Menlo Park as well as peruse her website to make a custom order, which Melody will personally deliver on the central Peninsula. “Part of the pleasure is tailoring an order to what a customer would like,” she said.

Melody also does pop ups. Our photographer caught up with her recently at the Pottery Barn at the Stanford Shopping Center, and she’ll be at all the upcoming Facebook Festivals.

“I love the idea of bringing people together so that they can share food as much as I like putting different flavors and textures together,” she said. “Diverse and inclusive tastes make the world a tastier place!”

Photos by Lena Kalotihos (c) 2018

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Sloane Citron is back in the world of magazines with the launch of Punch

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Last week, many homeowners in InMenlo’s coverage area received a brand new magazine on their walkway or driveway called Punch. The editorial focus should be familiar: It’s all about the Peninsula, stretching from San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean, from Burlingame to Mountain View, the “true Peninsula.” And while the magazine is new, the […]

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Menlo Park startup, Dropwater, introduces new way to distribute and sell bottled drinks

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Four Cal Poly San Luis Obispo grads are currently ensconced in a Menlo Park garage working on a solution to up-end the plastic bottled water industry. Scott Edwards, CEO (pictured top in the garage) of the startup Dropwater, cites some sobering statistics about the need to replace plastic water bottles with sustainable, eco-friendly alternative: “In […]

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Talking hearing loss with Bill Facteau, CEO of Menlo Park-based Earlens

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A brand new trophy sat on Earlens CEO Bill Facteau’s desk — and it was one to be proud of. The Menlo Park-based medical technology company had received a “Best New Product Award” for it Earlens Light-Driven Hearing Aid by the 2018 Edison Awards, who wrote: “Earlens brings people with hearing loss closer to normal hearing […]

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Protecting memories though digitization is promise of start up, The Cloud Life

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There are some things that are just too precious to go up in smoke. Such was the realization of Anna Morris (right) and Brittany Messmer. Following the tragic natural disasters in 2017, they kept hearing from people they knew who were affected about how most things are replaceable, but photos and other precious memories are not. So, they decided […]

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Menlo College grad quits Bay Area start up and discovers make up can be fun

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Editor’s note: The author of this post, Tiare Fuentes, attended Menlo College where she played soccer, as well as worked for the athletic department. After a successful stint at a Bay Area start-up (a position she got due to a Menlo College social mixer) she started her own company. She just started a Kickstarter campaign […]

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Hey Baby Boomers, time to dust off those memories and share on MyRetrospect.com

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Talking with the founders of Retrospect Media — Susan Hansen, John and Patricia Zussman — it’s easy to see what drew them together to start their latest venture. They are all Portola Valley residents. John and Patti (as she’s known) are married to each other. Patti and Susan went to Mills College together. Then there’s their […]

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Street Code Academy hosts IM|Possible StreetCode Showcase at Facebook

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Stanford grad Olatunde Sobomehin co-founded StreetCode Academy in East Palo Alto in response to a “lack of access to high-tech training for youth and young adults in communities of color, and consequently, a diversity deficit in the technology industry” with the mission of equipping them with “the skills to hack, hustle, and design the future.” What […]

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Cathy Bitler brings her background in science to making handcrafted soaps

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Most of Cathy Bitler’s professional career was spent in the lab. As a biochemist, she worked at companies involved in finding new drug therapies for stubborn-to-treat medical conditions. Today, her focus is on more immediate gratification through her handcrafted soaps, lotions, and scrubs made in her Menlo Park home. Her journey to soap maker started, somewhat […]

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Dariusz Paczuski draws on his Polish heritage in founding Rocket Vodka

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Dariusz Paczuski admits “vodka is in my blood.” That’s one reason he started Rocket Vodka in his Menlo Park garage. Dariusz’s family fled Poland to escape communism when he was about a year old, eventually settling in Norway, where he was a member of the Norwegian National Swim Team. When he was 20, a  swimming scholarship […]

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Nicki Boyd explains why talking to babies matters – and how the product Starling can help parents

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Nicki Boyd, co-founder with two others of Menlo Park start-up VersaMe, admits they came up with the name for the company’s first product, Starling, without knowing the bird of the same name is studied for its advanced linguistic capability. “It was chosen more because a star has a positive connotation across cultures,” she says. After a decade […]

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