When Bao Phommatha and Julia Vang opened Kuluka Boba & Sweets in November 2022, the best friends and business partners were worried their cozy Westminster boba and dessert shop wouldn’t be able to compete with national chains such as Mochinut and Dochi that have expanded to the Front Range. “We’re a small, family-owned business, so we don’t have a marketing or advertising budget,” Phommatha says. But word spread via social media about Kuluka’s mochi doughnuts—a cross between the Japanese rice cake and the American fritter—and now Phommatha and Vang sell more than 500 of the eye-catching treats per day.

The pair spent a year experimenting with ingredient ratios, mixing techniques, and frying times to produce the ideal texture: soft and slightly chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside. They enrich the fried beauties with an array of custom flavors such as raspberry-drizzled Funnel Cake and sprinkle-topped Animal Cookie. Whatever you order, chase it with a brown sugar boba tea or lychee slush in Kuluka’s hangout-worthy space, which is furnished with velvet and leather couches and two swinging chairs. 6030 West 92nd Ave., Ste. 300, Westminster

Read more: Are Colorado’s Best Mochi Doughnuts in Westminster?

This article was originally published in 5280 April 2024.
Patricia Kaowthumrong
Patricia Kaowthumrong
Patricia joined the 5280 staff in July 2019 and is thrilled to oversee all of the magazine’s dining coverage. Follow her food reporting adventures on Instagram @whatispattyeating.