Melody Hu has taken over 209 1st St., where Cho's Mandarin Dim Sum recently closed.
Hu, who was born in Taiwan and moved to the Peninsula as a teen, started baking at home using sweet rice flour and eventually turned it into a business, selling her pastries at pop-ups and at local cafes.
Petit Bakery Co.'s gluten-free cupcakes, made from sweet rice flour. Photo courtesy Petit Bakery Co.
Everything Petit Bakery Co. serves will be gluten-free, from cakes and cupcakes to muffins. Hu bakes with "Mochiko" sweet rice flour from Koda Farms, the oldest family-owned and operated rice farm in California, as well as almond flour. The rice flour is made from California short-grain sweet rice described on the Koda Farms website as "mild and neutral in flavor, with superior thickening qualities."
"Long popular with the Japanese for preparing homemade mochi, manju, chi-chi-dango, arare – senbei and other dishes, sweet rice flour is also used by the Koreans for confections, the Chinese for noodles and certain types of dim sum, the Filipinos for bibingka-type confections and the mainstream segment for gravies, sauces, and batter coatings" -- and gluten-free baking, the website states.
The bakery will also offer paleo, vegan and dairy-free desserts, plus coffee, tea, dairy-free lattes and boba drinks (tapioca pearls are also gluten-free, Hu noted). Her M.O. is to be inclusive of different cultures, diets and tastes.
She hopes to be open by this summer.