Our Story: From Pop-up to a Real Storefront
Boba Guys began as a pipe dream in the fall of 2011. Bin and Andrew worked together at Timbuk2, the kickass messenger bag and accessories company. Bin found the only other Asian guy at Timbuk2 and asked Andrew if he wanted to play ping pong. After playing ping pong for an hour, we realized that we had the same upbringing despite our geographic and cultural differences: Bin, the small-town country boy from Texas and Andrew, the nerd from New Jersey/California.
Needless to say, we became great friends. We bonded over lunch runs to the local boba shop in the Mission. One day, it closed down. We panicked, fearing the jitters to come from boba and caffeine withdrawal. We soon took matters into our own hands and watched countless hours of YouTube videos about making the perfect cup of boba milk tea. We subsequently went to every boba shop in the city, hoping they could help us shed light on a seemingly clandestine food industry. The wheels were churning.
Two months later, we threw our first pop-up event with our friends at Ken Ken Ramen. We didn’t have a business plan. We didn’t have a customer base. We didn’t even have a proper kitchen. We just knew we wanted the world to try our boba milk tea and break cultural barriers. We also wanted to change the way people thought of boba and tea. We did not like how many businesses had less-than-stellar business practices and did everything behind a wall. We wanted to open up the boba experience for everyone to see.
As we picked up momentum and developed a stronger point of view (e.g. high-quality ingredients, customer service, in-house production), we started seeing that our values transcended bubble tea. From our GOOD magazine column, people were emailing us about starting a business or even Chinese-Taiwanese politics. Some just wanted to be a part of something different. The love and support swelled up so much that we finally decided to open a store in summer 2013.
We always said we’d start a company together one day… we just didn’t think it was a boba business!
And that's where we are today. We want to fundamentally change the way people view boba, tea, and perhaps, food. We hope you join us in our journey!
Andrew & Bin