The British are renowned for a traditional cup of tea in the afternoon but for a Soham company there is nothing ordinary about the tea they are selling in the UK and Europe or the exceptional success they are experiencing.Bubble Tea House Company import high quality Bubble Tea ingredients and supplies from Taiwan and distribute them to cafes, shops, restaurants, clubs and kiosks throughout the UK and Europe.
With the help of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the company looked at the logistics of importing the product to the UK, establishing a distribution centre in Lowestoft and sales office in Soham and how to promote and target it to the right audience.
Bubble tea originated in Taiwan in the 1980’s as a tea which had sweet ingredients added to it such as fruit juice, milk, syrup and distinctively large tapioca pearls.
Bubble Tea House Company has updated the product range to appeal more to the European market and have plenty of extras to make the drink a taste sensation and an affordable snack such as juice pobbles which burst in your mouth and flavourful fruit jellies. Their clients vary from a traditional English tea shop in Peterborough to a bubble tea specialised cafe in Birmingham.
Managing director and Ely born, Paul Wallace, is very excited about the opportunities this business will bring to the UK. He said: “Along with my partners Ana and Diana Novoa, I cannot wait to share my passion for this product and help businesses to introduce this to their customers as they search for something unique and different that will set them aside from traditional milkshake parlours, smoothie bars and coffee shops.”
Bubble tea has taken the world by storm, its popularity has conquered Asia, North America, Australia and is rapidly spreading in Europe. Bubble Tea House Company offer to their customers, not only the necessary materials, but everything they need to have a successful bubble tea business such as developing brand and concept, product training, menu development, store design and ergonomics.
Andrea Morgan, based at UKTI in Vancouver, first assisted the company when they were considering the UK as a location to invest, making all the important connections for the company. She said: “I introduced the company to my colleagues in UKTI’s Investment Services team as they expressed interest in setting up a warehouse for the wholesale of Bubble Tea machines and ingredients in the UK and Europe.
“They were also introduced to an advisor from the UK Advisory Network (UKAN) to assist with setting up the company such as registering the entity and dealing with VAT. UKTI also provided guidance about UK immigration and applying for an entrepreneurs visa.”
Kerry Andrews, UKTI Senior Sector Lead in the Investment Services Team, provided the local assistance in the UK, working with the Bubble Tea House team to identify suitable premises for their initial investment and supplying the data they required for market entry. She said: “The Bubble Tea House started with a modest warehouse facility in Soham but have grown so rapidly in the last six months that they have now appointed a storage and fulfilment company in Lowestoft. They have found the UK an excellent gateway to Europe with approximately 65 per cent of their sales in Europe.
“Bubble Tea House Company is an great example of a specialist food and drink company investing and innovating in the UK and I am delighted at their success.”
UKTI offers overseas investors impartial advice on where and how to set up a business in the UK, information on funding, finance, staffing and operations such as tax and visas and locating a suitable base. Once established, UKTI will continue its work with the investor to help provide new business opportunities and advice from their sector specialist.
Bubble Tea House Company will be showcasing its full range of product and services at the upcoming Food & Drink Expo in March 2012 at the NEC, Birmingham.
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Ana Novoa, Paul Wallace and Dianna Novoa of Bubble Tea House Company