Now Open: YiFang Tea House a Sweet Arrival in the Heart of Bellevue
As we slowly and safely emerge from quarantine in search of something refreshing to nourish our sense of community and delight our taste buds, look no further than YiFang Taiwan Fruit Tea - a haven of flavor to fuel your adventures in the Heart of Bellevue.
We stopped by to chat with Sunny Wang, co-owner of this new cafe in The Bravern. Read on for a Q&A covering how she and her business partner, LiRong Cui, launched a brand new storefront in the midst of a pandemic:
BDA: How were you introduced to the bubble tea industry? How has its recent surge in popularity impacted your own relationship with the product and serving the Bellevue community?
SW: As Asians, we grew up with bubble tea shops surrounding our neighborhood. We are very familiar with the bubble tea culture. Bubble teas were introduced in the late 90s in the greater Los Angeles area, and have since organically grown into American culture. It is exciting to serve bubble teas in the Bellevue community, as it supports a vast variety of cultures from all over the world.
BDA: Have you encountered any challenges or surprises while prepping for your grand opening amid such an unusually difficult time?
SW: We had our challenges and surprises opening our store in The Bravern, located next to the Bellevue Transit Center. We got caught off guard by the riots that happened during the construction phase of our store, but luckily there were no damages to our property.
BDA: Are there any unique or memorable features about your establishment or special business offerings you would like to promote?
SW: Fruit Teas have been a new and trending concept. We offer a unique taste in our diverse fruit tea selection, as well as fresh milk-based bubble teas. We also have a streamlined online ordering system that allows customers to skip the line and choose a convenient pick-up time. We also partner with major third party delivery services like UberEats, DoorDash, etc.
BDA: How has the global health crisis redefined your business practices and perspective?
SW: During our opening in late August, we strictly followed procedures issued by the CDC along with the WA government, to ensure safety for our staff and customers. We promote socially responsible distancing within our shop, as well as easily accessible hand sanitizer.
BDA: Have there been any encouraging moments that restore your faith and remind you and your staff to stay positive?
SW: As we always tell our team, this is an exciting time to be able to serve our customers. It might be difficult, as we have to wear protective masks at all time, however it is for the benefit of everyone.
BDA: Anything else you care to comment on or say directly to your customers?
SW: YiFang is an old-fashioned, premium Taiwanese tea made with love and real ingredients. Our goal is to deliver high quality products with the best possible customer service that aims to build meaningful relationships within our local community and beyond. We look forward to seeing you soon!
This blog is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.