Samantha Molina/Courier Larry Lee cuts a slice of Triple Berry cake at Moyo on Thursday, June 30, 2016.

Since its grand opening nearly four weeks ago, Pasadena’s newest cafe Moyo has the potential to become one of the city’s several renowned sweet spots. The cakery/cafe is slowly but surely building a glowing reputation with its additive and preservative-free delicacies, as well as its peacefully picturesque atmosphere.

Moyo’s owner, Grace Pham, prides herself on the quality food she serves to her customers. She offers a wide variety of cakes, cookies, macarons, pastries, tarts and cupcakes, all made onsite at the cafe with fresh and seasonal ingredient, causing the menu to often rotate.

There is also an appealing array of organic coffee and tea, which come all the way from Guatemala and are delivered on bike by Bicycle Coffee, a fair trade delivery service.

Before opening her own cafe, Pham was making her way as a well-to-do pastry chef at various luxurious locations, such as the Montage Hotel in Laguna Beach. Having lived in Pasadena for several years, she came back to the city to start her business.

As a past resident, Pham has a special place in her heart for Pasadena, which she expresses through her catering to multiple local school fundraisers and weddings.

The name Moyo comes originates from Pham’s cultural background. In Korean, it means to gather, encompassing all that Pham intended her cafe to stand for. She envisions it as a serene spot in which friends and family to come spend time together, sharing a savory slice of cake while drinking their favorite cup of coffee.

Pham wishes to satisfy the sweet tooth of the people of Pasadena in the healthiest way possible, and hopes to soon provide vegan options in the near future.

During my visit to the cafe on a Thursday afternoon, I treated myself to several of its popular choices, varying from cakes to cookies to coffee and tea.

My favorites were among the several cake choices available that day. The triple berry, a satisfying combination of cream and fruit on pound cake that connected with my sweet tooth without leaving me feeling like I might get a cavity. And the double chocolate, which contained the perfect amount of dark chocolate, leaving a harmoniously bittersweet taste in my mouth.

I also very much enjoyed the cold brew hazelnut coffee, which I was informed by Moyo employee Larry Lee took a cool 18 hours to prepare. The bitterness of the coffee mixed with the subtle sweetness of the hazelnut and almond milk made my taste buds very happy.

Confident in both her chef and businesswoman skills, Pham is already planning to open two more Moyo cafes in the city in the future.

Based on the great customer service and food that I received at Moyo, there is no doubt that this sweet little cafe will soon prove itself to be a valuable to addition to the culinary melting pot that is Pasadena.

Moyo is located at 1373 N Lake Avenue in Pasadena.

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