Are you wondering where bubble tea shops get their supplies? If YES, here are 7 places bubble tea shops get their supplies in 2023. Starting and running a bubble tea business means bringing this Taiwanese drink to the attention of customers. This drink is extremely popular in almost every part of Asia, but still in its young stage in America. However, it is gradually finding heightened acceptance with a trend-seeking millennial audience, particularly in university settings.
If you intend to have customers spend time inside your shop, then it is imperative to opt for a busy area with high foot traffic and plenty of parking spaces since they can directly benefit your shop. But if you intend on having a bubble tea truck traveling to various locations, endeavor to choose the ideal times to reach your intended customer base. It is also very crucial to research and understand the history of your shop location as well. If the area is unsafe or has undergone numerous business turnarounds, these are red flags showing that the location may not be the ideal place for your business.
However, depending on your location, a good percentage of your customers will include early adopters. These are people who are open to trying new products or experiences. Their word of mouth can be very influential to you. If you are starting your business in a location where most prospects are very conversant with bubble tea, your customer base might include people who are eager to judge your tea and overall product mix against the competition.
Having a detailed bubble tea business plan can also help see you through numerous phases of building your shop. Aside from serving as a strategic roadmap for your business, this document can also help your shop’s communication with banks, sponsors, manufacturers, and the marketplace so that you can easily achieve your goals. Since this plays a critical role in the establishment of your business, ensure that every aspect of your plan aligns well with the other.
You should also find quality and reliable suppliers that can provide quality ingredients that fit your shop’s budget and bubble tea menu. In this line of business, you likely need to source a number of bubble tea-specific ingredients such as good quality milk, non-dairy creamers, powdered mixes, flavored syrups, tapioca pearls, tea leaves, sugar, and other mix-ins. Also note that you will need plastic cups, cup lids or films for sealing, and of course boba straws.
Common Places Bubble Tea Shops Get Their Supplies
If you are a first-time bubble tea shop owner, establishing connections with suppliers may seem like a very challenging task. When choosing suppliers, most tea shop owners consider cost, delivery schedule, minimum order requirements, and quality of products. Nonetheless, here are common places to source supplies for your bubble tea shop.
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National Wholesale Food Suppliers
This is your one-stop shop for quality milk, flavored syrups, dry goods, desserts, etc. These wholesalers are known to work with a vast network of farmers to source a wide variety of ingredients for bubble tea shops. Note that they deliver goods via truck, and you can easily order online, over the phone, or sometimes through an app. In addition, these national wholesale food suppliers also often carry small kitchen wares and other equipment.
A good number of bubble tea shops source some for their ingredients from a farm or farming cooperative. Working with local farmers can come in the form of a direct relationship or through larger farms that have similar distribution networks as national wholesalers. According to experts, locally sourced ingredients sometimes need to travel farther than you think. If you are committed to a small carbon footprint, then you should consider finding the farm on Google maps to understand how far your food needs to travel.
Online Discount Sites
Some food and teashop supplies might be cheaper on sites like Amazon, especially if you want just a little amount. Nevertheless, note that you will have to pay sales tax on these items, handle delivery lead times, and be willing to wait. However, note that it is easy to get free delivery and the items are delivered right to your door, meaning that this can be a very convenient option for your bubble tea shop.
If a bubble tea shop’s baked goods are not made in-house, the next and perfect option will include sourcing them from a local bakery. Specialty bread, cakes, and other bakery items can be purchased from big suppliers as well; however, it is common for bakeries to serve as suppliers for nearby bubble tea shops. Have it in mind that the quality and freshness of these locally sourced items make them far superior.
Local Food Markets
Although primarily intended to bring local food from farms to communities, a good number of small business owners are shopping at local food markets for locally sourced ingredients. In this age, farmers who sell at markets have started to set aside some of their best crops for foodservice businesses owing to their growing presence at markets. Note that shopping at a local market allows business owners to handpick ingredients and talk to the farmers who grow their food.
Most often, the sales prices at discount clubs like Sam’s, Costco, and BJ’s are as good as the price you can get from your wholesale suppliers. Also, note that they are useful if you need to restock your inventory between deliveries from your primary supplier. If you only need a few items that will not meet order minimums to get free delivery from your larger vendors, discount clubs can be an easy solution. However, endeavor to be selective because not everything in a discount club is a good deal for your business.
These suppliers can come in various forms, from large national wholesalers to local farms. Organic farmers are known to use fewer chemicals in their fertilizers. Organic products are free from antibiotics, and animals are more or less kept in environments that better mimic a natural habitat.
Your bubble tea menu goes hand-in-hand with your brand identity. Although there is no secret formula for a successful bubble tea shop, have it in mind that your supplier is everything in this business. Indeed, there is no single supplier solution that fits all bubble tea shops. A good number of these shops rely on a team of vendors to keep supplies moving. Nonetheless, the plan you choose will depend on the type of food you serve and your sales, size, and storage facilities.