"...the U.S. tea industry is expected to grow to over $10 billion by 2010, an increase of over 60% from 2005." - Tea Association of America
It seems like tea is becoming more and more popular by the day. People have seemed to embrace tea and take it into their homes, like the stray cat that has been meowing at your back door for days. So many people find solace in a cup of tea and go to it at the end of a long day, in the same manner which a bubble bath can be revitalizing.
Ahh, bubbles. My next topic.
Bubble tea, a drink very unfamiliar to some, is a tea beverage, usually sweet, invented in Taiwan. At the bottom of these drinks lies a very unique and extremely exquisite ingredient that is vital to bubble tea. They are dime sized tapioca balls called "boba." The beverage can also be served as a slush or a smoothie.
Bubble tea is such a unique beverage and treat that stands above any other product. It's truly original and I really would love to take advantage of the 60% increase that I stated above and create my own bubble tea shop.
Friends and I have been going to the same boba stop in Cambridge, MA(Harvard Square to be exact) since 2006. Living in the suburbs we would often travel 30 minutes into the city just to grab one of these odd beverages. Now, five years later, I live only twenty minutes(walking) away from this very tea location. I asked myself recently, "what is making me go back?" The service is sub par. I don't feel like a guest while I am there. More of a burden actually. Having been going there for five years not ONE employee has ever asked my name, memorized my order, or even said, "this one is on us!" Then, I realized it's just instinct and habit. The quality can be inconsistant, but overall pretty good and the prices are a bit much. This tea stop has gold in the palm of their hands and they do not even realize it. Perfect location. The door swings opened so often and sometimes you have to wait outside just to grab one of these delightful treats.
I got to thinking and have realized that, what if they fully took advantage of what they had? They could make bubble tea something so much more than what it currently is. Bubble tea is very intriguing to most who aren't familiar with it.
So, with all of that being said, I am going to take advantage of what they aren't. I am young and ambitious and will do whatever it takes to create my own special bubble tea store that caters to YOU. My guests. Boston is a perfect market. Diverse in so many ways, over 25 schools and universities.
Hospitality is such an essential part of a business and not enough establishments in the city realize this.
I come to this forum looking for advice for making my dream come true.
I am curious about start-up funds to get the ball moving.
I have been researching a bit and have found that some very successful small coffee/tea shops have started with as low as 50k.
I have looked into the SBA and have looked into ther loan programs.
ANY advice anyone would be able to grant me would be huge.
Let's get to talking!