Former Marquette student opens bubble tea business

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Former Marquette student opens bubble tea business

Manpreet Singh is the new owner of Serenity, the bubble tea shop coming to campus.

Manpreet Singh is the new owner of Serenity, the bubble tea shop coming to campus.

Manpreet Singh is the new owner of Serenity, the bubble tea shop coming to campus.

Manpreet Singh is the new owner of Serenity, the bubble tea shop coming to campus.

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Walking through the streets of the state’s capital, Manpreet Singh admired the many bubble tea shops.

He was surprised Milwaukee didn’t have many.

Always having dreamed of starting his own business, Singh plans to open a bubble tea shop called SereniTea on campus this fall.

The shop, located at 1414 W. Wells St., will open around Labor Day.

Singh would be a senior in the College of Business Administration at Marquette University, but he is currently taking a year off.

Although bubble tea shops are uncommon in Milwaukee, a few Asian restaurants around campus offer the drink.

Jessica Yohannan, a junior in the College of Business Administration, said she enjoys the tea-based Taiwanese drink, which can include tapioca balls, popping boba and other pearl-like additions.

Yohannan said she is excited about the new shop on campus.

“Me and my friends usually get our bubble tea daily at either Asian Papayoyo or Maki Yaki, so I do think this will hurt business in those stores since they are similar as well,” Yohannan said.

Charlie Luo is the owner and head chef of Asian cuisine restaurant Tangled, located in Milwaukee at 1404 W. Wells St., two doors down from the new bubble tea shop.

Luo said he is not worried about decreased business. In fact, he said he thinks it might help his business. Luo added that bubble tea is not Tangled’s main product.

“I believe no matter what other people are serving, we offer something of a really standout, unique product here,” Luo said. “So if the bubble tea shop brings more kids to this area, that is probably good for us.”

He said he hopes SereniTea transforms the corner into a new hangout spot that will help Tangled become more popular.

“If somehow a lot of kids go to Serenity to check out their bubble tea, they might see us and say, ‘Oh, this store also has some bubble tea, let’s try it out,'” Luo said. “Actually, that would be nice also.”

Singh also hopes his business becomes a social space for students.

His parents, who he said are his biggest mentors, are helping him open the shop.  He is taking out a lot of loans, which he said can be scary.

While opening a business is risky, Singh reminds himself that “if you don’t take a risk, you can’t get far.”

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