Sweet drink success

Junior takes her love for boba to the next level

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Photo contributed by Mang Tial

Junior Mang Tial’s younger customers are trying her boba for the first time. Tial says that Boba is for all ages. To see more of her customers, visit her Instagram @mangsbobashop.

Starting in the back of her family grocery store, NuhNuh Asian Grocery, junior Mang Tial began making boba, also known as “Bubble Tea.” It is a tea based with chewy tapioca and other toppings. When their restaurant shut down due to the pandemic, Tial wanted to continue making it.

Six months ago, Tial opened her own local boba shop in the back of her aunt’s restaurant. She continues to learn more about boba, business and entrepreneurship as her shop continues to grow. It’s called Mang’s Boba Shop.

“At first I did it for fun,” Tial said. “It was a good way for me to make money.”

Initially, she started making boba out of curiosity and boredom during quarantine in March, but eventually she grew to like it more and more. She was constantly at her aunt’s restaurant, and she figured it would be a good way to make money while still being able to help out there. 

Tial’s friend, junior Ni Sung, thought it was a great idea to make her love for boba into a business.

“At first I was kind of shocked and surprised,” Sung said. “But she already has a lot of experience with her aunt’s shop and running a business, so I was very excited for her.” 

Over time people started requesting more and more, so her business grew quickly. Some of that has to do with the support of her friends who would promote her on social media.

“When it first opened, it was doing really well and the promoting helped a lot,” Tial said.

Like her friends, other local small businesses around her shop tried to support her as well. Tial says that there is a coin shop and a salon next door and they try to stop by and purchase from her, and they also tell other people about her.

Something that Tial does to grow her business is invest in herself and spend her money wisely. She says that she only will use the money she makes from

 boba to expand her business and invest in more products. 

Junior Basheba So Hnai thinks that Tial is a natural business woman. She’s always trying to figure out ways to improve her recipe and is open to customer feedback.

“When I first tried it, the Boba was a bit too sweet and needed more pearls,” So Hnai said. “Her boba recipes have definitely improved since then.”

Part of Tial’s motivation stems from her career goals and ambition. She says since she is focusing more on the entrepreneurship aspect of business having a small business will only give her more experience and a head start for the future.

Through this experience so far she has been able to learn and grow from any setbacks or victories she has had. Something she struggled with was being compared to other local boba shops. She says around her there are two restaurants, a chinese restaurant and a Chin restaurant, that also sell boba. People often compare Tial to those experienced businesses.

“It is just difficult because I’m still learning and being compared to other restaurants can be hard, but I am getting used to it,” Tial said.

Currently, Tial’s shop is not open because boba is more of a summer drink. In the future, she hopes to open other small businesses and possibly bring them into college with her.

“This is something she’s really passionate about and it’s a step closer to her dream,” So Hnai said.