How far would you go for something you love? For Milpitas couple, Chris Oung and Danielle Tho, that distance used to be a daily drive to San Jose to get their favorite pearl tea and coffee drinks. Saturday, they opened their very own Bambū Desserts & Drinks in Cupertino Village, a busy shopping center on Wolfe Road just off of I-280.
The couple first stumbled upon Bambū while they were visiting their favorite dessert place right next door. It was Tho who decided to chance the newly-opened cafe, and it was not until Oung gave in and tried it at Tho’s behest that he fell in love with it too.
The couple soon found themselves hooked on the Vietnamese-inspired drinks, coming back almost every day for the Iced Hazelnut Mocha (#34 on the menu) for her and the Bambū Special (#1) or the Chè Thâp Câm Combo (#2) for him.
When they found out about the franchising opportunity offered by Bambū, they decided to go for it.
"We were like the second ones to jump in and sign into the program, but because (developing) our location took quite a bit longer than we expected, so all the Bambū's had opened before us while we were in the process of opening the store," Oung says.
Once the location had been secured, every measure was taken to renovate and modernize the store before the grand opening, updating decor and providing free Wi-Fi for customers.
Cupertino Village is no stranger to Asian-inspired desserts and snacks with popular spots such as Fantasia and Quickly in the same shopping center. In fact, Bambū is now situated where Q-Cup, another milk tea cafe, used to be. However, owner Oung believes that Bambū brings something new to the scene with its Southeast Asian flare, and sets it apart from their counterparts with fresh ingredients like lychee, longan and red beans.
"We wanted the community to try something new," Tho says.
Cupertino was already a place with a personal connection.
"I like Cupertino, because I used to go to De Anza College myself. I like the whole atmosphere and environment here. It's about sharing something new with Cupertino."
The cafe celebrated its grand opening Saturday morning, with Cupertino Mayor Orrin Mahoney cutting the ribbon at 11:39 a.m.
Oung utilized social media such as Facebook to reach out to the community, and despite the short notice of the cafe's opening, it ended up having quite the turnout, much to Oung’s relief. Following the party, the couple is sure to have their hands full with their new business, but that's no reason for them to stop having fun. "Now I will have my favorite drink every day," says Tho, laughing.
Chris Shyvers is an intern with Patch and a journalism student at San Jose State University.