The team stayed determined to continue with their vision and to make their bubble tea dreams come true, even with the pandemic plaguing the world. They were focused on the future and were keen to launch soon. So they started focusing on setting up a storefront.
The team wanted to stay in the Safdarjung area – YuSung and SuAh had stayed there a couple of months in 2020, and Jo had been living there for a few years, so they were familiar with the area; the market was quite nice, and had enough footfall; and the market rents were comparatively cheaper.
The team, however, was still not sure if they wanted to take on the huge overhead costs of a whole shop by themselves, so they began to think of the possibility of co-sharing space with another business. Even before the pandemic started, the team had been in touch with Diana from Bamboo Hut in B6 Safdarjung Market, about this idea. Diana wasn’t sure if she wanted to continue renting the whole space, and the Got Tea team didn’t want to start with too big a space – it was a match!
Once lockdown restrictions began to ease in Delhi, the team started working on their storefront and launch. They set up a small outlet in Bamboo Hut’s space, and began from there. Setting up the store required a lot of hands on work by Armaan (who even got COVID during the setup) and Jo, since they were the ones that were in the city (or even the country). YuSung and SuAh put their trust into their partners, and Armaan and Jo had to make it through without their physical support and presence.
With everything set up, they only had to wait for their canning machine to arrive, before they could open up. Once it came through, they launched Got Tea! So, on 18 November 2020, they opened up their doors. They started with 4 menu items – they wanted to focus on capturing the market with classic flavours, before they started experimenting more. The four flavours were Classic Black, Green Matcha, Caramel Brown (my personal favourite) and Taro Purple.
Soon, however, the team found that the space wasn’t working for them. They wanted a more open concept design, so that customers would walk in and see them and be able to converse with them, and the layout at Bamboo Hut just didn’t allow for that. It was also a really small area, and as their business grew, the space began to feel restrictive.
There was a shop right next to Bamboo Hut, which used to be a café but had not been in use for months, and thus Got Tea found their new space. They worked hard, night and day, to transform the space into one they could really call their own – they wanted to keep the space light and airy, and it had to be an open concept! In a matter of a few weeks, they were ready with their new store.
On 1 March 2021, they held a soft launch of the new store - a few loyal customers were invited in the evening to get the first glimpse into the new space and meet the Got Tea team. Armaan, Jo, and YuSung were there, along with new members of the Got Tea family, ready to serve these loyal customers and get to know them a bit more personally. For the Got Tea team, building these deep and interpersonal relationships with their customers is a priority.
As they have moved into the new place, the team has upped their menu to 8 drink flavors (with the 9th launching very soon, and I am so excited for that one!)
For the team, this store is a testament to their hard work and determination, and their refusal to give up, even in the face of adversity (and a global pandemic!)
By the way, if you haven’t been yet, be sure to check out the new Got Tea store, in B6 Market, Safdarjung Enclave!
This journal is an ongoing series tracing the story of Got Tea, the latest bubble tea store launched in India, located in South Delhi. Want to know what happens next? Stay tuned – new episodes come out every week!