ICYMI: Keefer Court Bakery Makes a Grand Return at Asia Mall – Eden Prairie, MN

Apr 14, 2024 | eat/drink

Photos by Tim Evans

The iconic bakery is back with all the same Hong Kong-style pastries — plus Vietnamese desserts

Eater Twin Cities:  Court, the enduring Chinese bakery that Sunny and Paulina Kwan first opened in Minneapolis’s Cedar Riverside neighborhood in 1983, has reopened at Eden Prairie’s Asia Mall under new owners Michael and Mai Bui and Peter Do. The Kwans, joined by their daughter Michelle, attended the bakery’s opening on March 14, serving steamed barbecue pork buns and curry beef puffs from behind the counter. They’ve passed all of Keefer’s pastry recipes — for Hong Kong-style pineapple and coconut cream buns, silky egg tarts, lotus and red bean cakes, and savory meat-stuffed buns — onto the Buis and Do, who’ve painstakingly recreated them, down to the last sesame seed.

Michael Bui says that the Kwans have been in the kitchen with the new bakery team for the past week and a half, helping them perfect the recipes. Bui himself was a Keefer Court customer for 30 years — he started eating there when he was in college. “It was the only thing I could afford back then,” he says. “It brings back a lot of memories.” He’s excited to carry on the family’s legacy.

Michelle Kwan, wearing glasses and a baseball hat, and Paulina Kwan, wearing a purple sweater, stand behind the counter of Keefer Court Bakery and smile.
Michelle and Paulina Kwan behind the counter.
A small boy standing behind a glass pastry case and looking at the pastries in it a woman bending over him to his right.
Caden and Sena Anderson pick out pastries.
Rows of golden coconut custard buns dusted with sesame seeds on silver trays with white sheets of paper.
Custard Buns
A whole round frosted white cake with shredded coconut on the sides, sitting in a pastry case.
Keefer’s new coconut pandan cake.

Bui, Mai, and Peter also own Vietnamese restaurant Pho Mai, which was one of Asia Mall’s first tenants, and accompanying bakery Bober Tea and Mochi Dough. The three of them bought Keefer Court from the Kwans in 2023, a few months after the family announced they were closing the bakery. “We’ve been at this for several years, so just having it come to reality, and having this turnout for the soft opening is really exciting,” Michael says. More than 100 people queued outside the restaurant ahead of the 11 a.m. opening.

The Kwans say it’s been an emotional — and joyful — process to watch the bakery they ran for nearly 40 years come back to life. Michelle took over the bakery from her parents in 2017. “My parents are so excited to have their legacy carried on,” she says. “My mom was just saying she’s so happy, she’s getting kind of teary-eyed. Even though it’s not ours, but just to see Keefer live on.” It was hard, she says, to say goodbye to the bakery in 2022. “At least they can carry on the business, and the name, and the products,” Sunny says.

In addition to Keefer’s Hong Kong-style pastries, the Buis and Do have added new Vietnamese desserts to the menu, including whole frosted cakes, banana and sweet taro pudding, cendol (a pandan jelly dessert), slices of coconut cassava cake, and chè ba mau (a sweet tri-color bean dessert), plus Vietnamese iced coffee. The recipes, Michael says, come from Mai and her mother.

Here’s a peek at the new Keefer Court

Michelle, Paulina, and Sunny Kwan; Michael and Mai Bui, and Peter Do standing together in Keefer Court Bakery, smiling as Sunny and Michael shake hands.
From left: Michelle, Paulina, and Sunny Kwan; Michael and Mai Bui, and Peter Do.
Four people holding trays milling in Keefer Court Bakery, selecting pastries from glass cases with gold trim.
Savory pastries are served behind the counter; sweet pastries on the shelves.
Behind the glass walls of the bakery, people stand in line as they wait to get in. In the foreground, a person with a beard, glasses, and a gray baseball hat takes a photo with his phone.
More than a hundred people queued outside Keefer Court for its soft opening.


Keefer Court

12160 Technology Drive
Eden Prairie, MN
Justine Jones is the editor of Eater Twin Cities


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