Bubble tea chain Mr. Wish opens near Main Campus

Lucy Gao and her husband opened a storefront on Cecil B. Moore amid the growing bubble tea trend.

Wu Tinggang, an employee at Mr. Wish, bags bubble tea on Monday at the new store on Cecil B. Moore Avenue near 15th Street. | LUKE SMITH / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Lucy Gao noticed bubble tea gaining popularity in the United States.

So in Summer 2018, the she opened a Mr. Wish shop near Main Campus with her husband. A Taiwanese chain, Mr. Wish serves bubble tea, which is black tea, milk and tapioca balls also known as “boba.” The couple opened a franchise on Cecil B. Moore Avenue near 15th Street. 

The Gaos’ shop is one of five Mr. Wish locations in Philadelphia. 

The shop uses real fruits and ingredients in its products, Gao said. The Mr. Wish signature drink, Colorful Fruit Tea, is a mix of chunks of apple, pineapple, kiwi, orange, passionfruit and kumquat.

“It is so popular amongst the international students, specifically,” Gao added.  

Landry Bado, a 2018 architecture alumnus, said he loves Mr. Wish and goes there once every two weeks. His favorite drink is the Colorful Fruit Tea or the Pearl Milk Tea, a classic Taiwanese drink with black sugar flavored bubbles and rich milk tea flavor. 

“Their bubbles are the right texture, and there’s so many drink options,” Bado said.  

Baowei Yuan, a sophomore undeclared business major, is an employee at Mr. Wish. Before he began working at the Temple location in August, he bought tea at the Mr. Wish location in Chinatown on Spring Street near 10th. 

“Because it is closer to campus, it is a lot easier for me,” he said. “The owner understands that I am a student and if I need to call out or reschedule my hours, she is willing to do so.”

Gao said she is considering adding snacks and sandwiches to the menu, but has to get permission from Mr. Wish’s headquarters first.  

Gao added that students and campus organizations use the shop as a gathering spot.  

Michelle Mbuthia, a senior political science major, said she visits the Gaos’ shop once every two weeks and has found the customer service to be excellent and accommodating. One time an employee even offered to remake her drink with less sugar when it was too sweet.

“Even though I might be running a little late in the morning, I can usually make it in and out of there in about five minutes,” Mbuthia said.

Gao said providing excellent customer service like this is her main goal.

“I really want to give a good impression on my customers,” she added. “Of course I want my employees to do the same.” 

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