Relax. Taste. Enjoy.
Boba tea and dessert shop opens in Gig Harbor
By Jillian Chandler
Photos By Roger Rivero
Though just 16 years old, Jacqueline Tran is proudly following in her mother’s footsteps, and she couldn’t be happier!
The daughter of Dza Le (LeLe), the successful woman behind LeLe Thai Vietnamese Cuisine, Jackie is taking the helm at the family’s newest endeavor—Pearl Tea. After initial plans to open this past March were delayed due to COVID-19, Jackie was more than ready to open the doors to the community on July 22, when they hosted their soft opening.
Opened for just more than a month, and already finding themselves with “regulars,” Pearl Tea is a bubble tea shop offering a wide variety of drinks from the traditional Taiwanese milk teas and fruit teas to blended smoothies and slushies. In addition, customers will also find a delicious selection of Asian-inspired desserts. “We are so excited that we can finally share a taste of these yummy treats with the people of Gig Harbor,” says Jackie.
Gig Harbor’s first boba shop, the space offers adorable décor along with a beautiful flower wall, making for ample photo opportunities for their guests who stop in. “We are most definitely one of the cutest boba shops in Washington, no question about it!” says Jackie proudly.
She and her mother have traveled to Taiwan and attended training classes to learn the art of making bubble tea and have aligned with the most delicious suppliers straight from Taiwan! “I have tried many different bubble teas all across Asia and even America,” Jackie states. “I take my experiences from that and combine them into Pearl Tea’s drinks to make them even better and to sculpt them the best they can be to serve to the customers.”
Their premium tea leaves are brewed fresh every four hours, cooking their tapioca pearls every four hours as well. This process allows for customers to get the best taste and experience when taking a sip of Pearl Tea’s delightful drinks. And you can’t forget the desserts, like the Hong Kong bubble waffles, Korean shaved ice, Japanese taiyaki and mochi ice cream. While most boba locations do not serve desserts, Pearl Tea does!
Dairy-free options are available, including dairy-free boba—just make your request when ordering. And while many boba shops only use powders and syrups for their blended drinks, Jackie takes pride that they use fresh fruit in a majority of their drinks. When ordering your drink, you can also request what level of sweetness you prefer, and they will accommodate you.
Jackie could not be more thankful to have been afforded this opportunity and credits it all to her mother LeLe. “Without her, Pearl Tea would have never existed,” she affirms. “My mom really loves and cares for me.”
Jackie was practically raised in her mother’s restaurant, where she witnessed her mom’s strong work ethic in full force. Jackie would spend time every day after school, on the weekends and on holidays helping where she could. From bussing tables and washing dishes to serving and customer service, she has learned her way around the ins and outs of running a successful business.
“I’ve seen how hard my mom works to provide for our family,” reflects Jackie. “She is such a strong and independent woman and has created so much by herself. I think it’s my time to give back to her and make Pearl Tea very successful.”
For Jackie, customer satisfaction is her number one goal, sharing that it warms her heart seeing happy families and friends enjoying the atmosphere, food and drink they have created at Pearl Tea. “Having regulars coming in almost every day and seeing their excitement every time makes me happy that people love my shop,” she says, “and seeing how much hard work can pay off feels very rewarding.”
Jackie invites you to take a seat at Pearl Tea, which is open for the community’s enjoyment 10:30am to 9pm Monday through Friday and 10:30am to 10pm Saturday and Sunday.
4621 Point Fosdick Drive NW, Suite 400
Gig Harbor, Washington 98335