What began as a Bay Area pop-up seven years ago has developed into a 12-location chain of Boba Guys (http://www.bobaguys.com/) cafés across the United States—now with its own tapioca pearl factory. The Boba Guys, Andrew Chau and Bin Chen, have teamed up with David Fan of Fanale Drinks to launch their newest project, US Boba Company, an 18,000-square-foot factory based in Hayward, California.
Originally from Taiwan, boba tea first became popular in the 1980s as a creamy, chewy, afternoon pick-me-up. Ever since, the industry has been supplied by factories based primarily in Taiwan and China. Pearls are made from pulverized cassava roots, manufactured using expensive equipment and proprietary methods. These factors kept Chau and Chen from producing their own pearls for years, while almost everything else the company served was produced in-house. Read how US Boba Company is manufacturing tapioca pearls in an article from the New York Times.
Since August, the Boba Guys’ California locations have been using pearls from the California factory. Soon, all 12 Boba Guys locations, as well as all eight locations of Fan’s boba tea chain, Teaspoon, will be serving US Boba Company pearls in their drinks.