The Valley awaits Tealicious

The Hardin Valley community soon will have its own bubble tea shop.

My Quyen Duong is partnering with her cousin, Quynh Ninh, and expects to open Tealicious at 10720 Hardin Valley Road, next to Firehouse Subs in Vista Dei Monte shopping center, in mid- to late-September.

“Right now, I’m in the hiring process, and (the opening date) really depends on construction,” Duong said.

“We will always have fresh ingredients,” she said. “A lot of the places that serve bubble tea here use a powder-based milk, whereas we will be using fresh milk and tea brewed fresh each day.

“We will be cooking our boba (tapioca balls) every four hours so it stays fresh,” Duong added, also noting she observed what people like about bubble tea: “it’s flavored tea, but then you also have different toppings you’re kind of munch-ing on, and the boba is chewy. It gives your palette different textures and tastes.

“One thing we will have that I haven’t seen anyone else here have is a milk cap, which is a soft foam on top of the milk. It just gives you a multi-layer experience.”

Along with “many different flavors to choose from” will be “eight different toppings,” Duong said.

Tealicious also will have a fruit-flavored milk tea, lactose-free options and Vietnamese coffee, and customers will be able to set their sugar and ice levels in their bubble tea.

Duong wants to make the store family-friendly, as well as a place for college students to take a break, and she plans to bring a local flair to the store’s setting using Tennessee Volunteers orange.

“I’m a proud Vols fan,” she said.

Duong’s taking on the venture “stems from my love of bubble tea,” she said.

“My husband and I sometimes would drive three hours to Atlanta just to get our fix,” she added. “(The trend) seems to be catching on here. It’s really popular in the bigger cities.”

However, the idea to open a store came about during a discussion with Ninh. 

“She actually has a store that serves bubble tea and lives in North Carolina,” Duong said. “We were just joking one day, and I said, ‘You should open one here, and I’ll manage it for you.

“Why don’t you partner up with me?’”

She plans to operate the store from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and from noon to 6 p.m., Sunday.

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