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Vivi Bubble Tea to open cafe in Vienna this spring

Vivi Bubble Tea is opening a franchise at Glyndon Shopping Center in Vienna (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

A chain of bubble tea shops is adding another local link, this time in the Town of Vienna.

Vivi Bubble Tea anticipates opening its newest franchise at 233 Maple Avenue East in mid-April, according to Yaya Zhang, manager of both the upcoming Vienna location and the existing Fairfax City cafe (9974 Main Street).

The shop has moved into the former Elite Tutoring Place in Glyndon Shopping Center, filling out a row also occupied by Pizza Vienna and Bruster’s Ice Cream.

Zhang says Vivi Bubble Tea was interested in adding a franchise in Vienna for “many reasons,” including the opportunity to attract a different customer base than the people it sees in Fairfax.

“Vivi Bubble Tea would like to increase its brand presence and respond to customer demand, and we believe Vienna Town offers an attractive demographic profile and foot traffic,” Zhang said by email. “Compared to the Fairfax City branch, which faces customers with college students and nearby residents, the Vienna Town branch is looking to attract families, young professionals, and other nearby residents.”

Vivi Bubble Tea launched in 2007 with “cutting-edge technology for tea production,” according to its website. Since opening its first store in New York City, the company has expanded to over 100 locations across four continents and 13 countries.

The proliferation of chains like Vivi and Sharetea has fueled a surge in bubble tea’s popularity in the U.S., drawing attention to a longtime favorite of some Asian immigrant communities. First developed in Taiwan in the 1980s, the drink consists of cold, sweet milk tea and chewy tapioca balls, or boba.

In addition to both dairy and non-dairy milk teas, Vivi offers fruit and jelly teas, flavored hot tea, soda and slushes, which come in flavors like strawberry, lychee and Oreo cookie. The variety and ability to customize menu items with toppings and different sugar or ice levels sets the chain apart from other bubble tea shops, Zhang says.

The business also serves Asian street food, including popcorn chicken, bento boxes and takoyaki, a traditionally Japanese snack.

“We believe that by offering a range of food options alongside their bubble tea drinks, Vivi Bubble Tea can attract customers looking for a complete dining experience or those who want to enjoy a snack or meal with their beverages,” Zhang said.

Vivi’s Vienna shop will be its third franchise in Virginia, joining ones in Fairfax and at the Eden Center in Falls Church.

Zhang says the business plans to get involved in the local community, and customers can expect plenty of promotions and discounts.

“We can’t wait to open up and service everyone in Vienna,” Zhang said.

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