With locations around the world, a global bubble tea chain is coming to Guelph this summer.
Gong Cha is renovating their storefront along Wilson Street, which they aim to open late August. Once ready, Gong Cha is hoping to connect with the community and become a hangout place for residents.
“They’re trying to do something different,” said Tommy Ngo, project manager with the company.
“They’re going to make it fun too,” he said, “Let’s say you come as a group, grab some board games, log into the wifi, hangout and grab some dessert.”
Eric Nguyen, the franchise owner, explains he became interested in opening a bubble tea store during the pandemic. He has 17 years of fast food experience, which includes time spent working for a bubble tea store in Hamilton.
"They don't have much bubble tea in Guelph," said Nguyen about the market, "(There's) not much competition."
Having spent time in bubble tea stores as a teenager in Vietnam, Nguyen saw a good opportunity to bring in a fun place for teens to visit.
"I'm hoping I can create a memory for the teenagers," he said.
Drawn by the large population of university students in Guelph, the business is also hoping to get into the student community with incentives and deals. Gong Cha is also planning to hire up to 20 mostly part-time staff.
“It’s more of a fun place than a workplace,” said Ngo.
Nguyen agrees, mentioning employees can interact with a lot more customers too.
"You can meet a lot of people and you can bring them happiness when you serve them."
Besides offering bubble tea, Ngo mentions Gong Cha also serves bubble waffles and ice cream in unique flavours and toppings. The Guelph location will be the only Gong Cha store in Canada to feature a dessert bar.
“It’s going to have ice cream, (bubble) waffles and shaved ice,” said Ngo about the dessert bar, “There’s a lack of desserts down there that’s unique, so that’s why we want to come to Guelph.”
Besides ice cream, Gong Cha is also known for their toppings. Their most popular toppings include milk foam, coffee jelly, and a healthier version of tapioca pearls, called kerten jelly. To see a menu of their items, click here.
“It's richer, a little more indulgent,” said Ngo about their milk teas.
Despite their decadent products, Gong Cha’s are less sweet compared to other brands of bubble tea.
“It’s not like that Costco ice cream where it’s just overly sugary,” said Ngo about Gong Cha’s product.
“It’s easier on the palate.”
Gong Cha will also have options for ordering online through Uber Eats, Skip The Dishes and Chat Mango.
“We also have an online app coming so you can order online for pick up,” said Ngo.