BY STEVEN DOYLE MAY 29, 2019 · 11:08 AM
Fat Straws Bubble Tea Co., a locally owned and operated concept tagged as serving “happiness in a cup” since 2002, is opening a fourth location on Saturday, June 1 at 1251 West Campbell Road, Ste. 230 in Richardson. With Japanese style Mochi donuts added to the menu and an emphasis on community involvement, Owners Terry and Jennifer Pham are humbled by the response from their neighbors and friends to become a community of owners in this growing business.
The new store will open with a bigger foot print than the other locations (2800 square feet) and act as the commercial kitchen to produce house-made Mochi Donuts made daily and delivered to their other locations.
The unique donuts originated in Japan and are known for their crispy exterior and chewy inside. The donuts are made with mochi flour (a Japanese rice flour). Each donut will be hand dipped and contain only the freshest sourced ingredients including organic strawberries, organic blueberries, and ceremonial grade matcha. No food coloring is used for the donuts.
Fat Straws will be the first business in Texas to offer Mochi Donuts. Co-owner Terry Pham explains, “Over the last 16 years we’ve really tried to stay focused on what we do: make great bubble tea. We’ve been searching for something to complement our product, but nothing has stood out. That all changed last year when I had my first Mochi Donut. And like all of the amazing experiences in my life, we had to share it.”
This husband and wife team opened their first Fat Straws Bubble Tea Co. location in 2002 in Plano. They are the product of immigrant parents who worked hard to provide a better life for their kids. Terry says, “They made sacrifices so that we could live the American Dream.” He continues, “My father passed away when I was 2 years old and my mother supported four kids by herself by working at 7-Eleven. I didn’t realize it at the time but that’s where I learned about power service, hospitality, and community.”
When the dot-com bubble burst Terry’s IT career, it was only fitting he would open a retail store that served the community. Since then, they have opened two additional Dallas locations. Although bubble tea and now Mochi donuts are the retail side of the business, the Pham’s are equally focused on their core values – building community, serving others, and taking ownership. Jennifer and Terry feel that opening additional locations scales the impact they can make on others’ lives. Fat Straws holds a weekly leisure meeting where they check in with employees on their personal and professional goals, feelings and any other items the employees want to discuss. Terry said “We wanted to create a space where people can be known. They are not just employees to us they are part of our family.”
Terry explains, “The community is literally invested in this location. We opened it up for investors from our neighborhood and the new business model was a hit. They love the product we are serving and the driving mission behind it all. This model is what we want to use with future locations. We love feeling the support of our neighbors and friends and knowing that they believe in what we are doing.”
Fat Straws offers a wide variety of drink combinations including Milk Teas, Infusions, Brews and Blends. Milk Teas are the “Traditional Bubble Tea” that combine sweetened organic black or green tea and milk or non-dairy creamer, served with chewy tapioca balls. Infusions are hand-shaken mixtures of organic green or black tea infused with fruit flavors of mango, strawberry, peach, lychee or others of guests choosing. Brews are award-winning organic, fair-trade kosher teas from Art of Tea that can be served hot or iced. Blends are a variety of frozen treats such as Smoothies, Slushes, Frappes and tea-inspired Shakes. All of the ingredients used at Fat Straws are gluten free. The bubble tea concept only sources the finest ingredients from Jasmine tea from Jiangsu to mangos from Mexico. The tapioca pearls are also prepared fresh daily.