Philip Wang, co-founder of independent digital content company Wong Fu Productions, announced the opening of his own bubble tea cafe in Southern California.
In an Instagram post on Wednesday, Wang shared how boba shops have helped him get through life, from driving 30 minutes just for a cup in high school to writing the biggest scripts of Wong Fu Productions.
“Boba shops have always had special impacts in my life,” Wang wrote. “In high school, boba milk tea was first making its way to the US. I’d have to drive 30 min away just to get a cup.”
“You might think it’s silly, but as a teen in that AzN era, I felt empowered by going to these shops, by a drink. It was something specifically Asian that made me feel cool, unique, included.”
The 34-year-old entrepreneur went on to reveal that he had worked at a boba shop himself for three years while studying in college. At the time, he joked about opening his own shop someday.
“In college, I worked for three years at a boba shop. As a job, I loved watching people, making drinks like a bartender, but more importantly I enjoyed having friends come visit and hang out. I felt community.”
Wang carried the boba lifestyle after graduation to the early days of Wong Fu, which he co-founded alongside Wesley Chan and Ted Fu in 2003.
“After graduating, I unintentionally moved to the San Gabriel Valley, a Chinese enclave in LA. These early days of Wong Fu were rough and I found comfort hanging out at the plethora of nearby boba shops. I even worked there (many of WF’s biggest scripts were written at a boba shop).”
At present, Wang still can’t get enough of boba. “To this day, I still choose to write & work at a tea spot over a Starbucks or [another] coffee shop any day.”
He started to consider opening his own boba shop few years ago, and apparently, the “joke” he had in college became a reality
“A few years ago I actually started thinking about that possibility seriously. And for the last two years I’ve been actively (secretly) working to make this happen with my friend Eric. Now, finally, after a lot of ups and downs we’re finally here.
“I’m ready to tell you that I’m opening up a cafe, in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley, dedicated to the product, neighborhood and community that’s inspired me throughout my life.”
Wang named his cafe “Bopomofo.” As of this writing, its Instagram page has nearly 10,000 followers and counting.
The cafe is under construction.
Wang’s announcement has received at least 21,000 likes since its posting. Many congratulated him on his success, with some already planning to visit when the cafe opens.
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