ASHWAUBENON (NBC26) — When Tou Moua decided to open his own bubble tea store last June, he knew it would be risky.
“I talked it over with my family and my kids, and bubble tea is something that we grew up loving as a family," he said. "It’s something that they’re excited about, and so we wanted to bring that to the community.”
The Moua family opened Boba Bae amid a global pandemic and lots of financial uncertainty. Since then, the community has come out to try a drink they might have never had; there aren't many shops like this in the area, said Moua. To many customers, bubble tea is very new.
“A lot of them come in and they’re like, 'What is bubble tea?," he said. "So it’s very exciting, and you try to explain it the best you can to them.”
Originating in Tawain in the 1980s, the tea includes milk, ice and chewy tapioca balls. It's a fun group activity, picking out and trying different flavors and coming back regularly to try more, said Sierra Moua.
“It’s a food that kind of just brings everyone together," she said.
Working as a family can be tough sometimes, said Sierra, 19. She’s taken on a lot of responsibility.
“We do fight a lot just like any other family," she said. "We have disagreements about things, but in the end we’re family and we’ll always work together.”
But her biggest responsibility? Coming up with a name for the shop.
“the name is just like, boba is bae, boba is life," Sierra said, laughing. "So I think it’s just a way to attract them here, and everyone likes the name. It’s cute, it’s fun.”
Boba Bae is open every day of the week from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.