Only months after opening, Mojo Teahouse is looking to expand beyond the borders of Isla Vista.
Mojo opened in September 2018 and is seen as a successful addition to the boba options available to UC Santa Barbara students and the broader community.
“We have a lot of potential, both for people who work here as well as investors in the store. We are already looking into expansion… We are actually looking at a Hollywood shop, so we are in the works of getting that set up,” Gabriel English, general manager of Mojo, said.
According to English, the Hollywood expansion would be in collaboration with Mojo’s business partners, who would also like to start another store in Oxnard.
Mojo’s success can be partly attributed to the variety of Asian food and drink on the menu. Aside from the typical drinks that one would expect at a boba shop, Mojo also entices customers by offering an ever-changing assortment of Asian fusion snacks, including popcorn chicken, spicy Korean wings and kimchi fries.
“The latest thing we are thinking about adding to the snacks section is fried cheese wontons. It’s a personal recipe of mine, and has a lot of vegetables and cheese inside it,” English said.
Customers are attracted to the store by the welcoming environment, as well as the employees’ upbeat nature and passion about boba.
One such employee is Jeene Yim, a second-year art and biology double major who works as a tea specialist at Mojo. Yim began working at Mojo when it opened last summer, and feels that it makes up for the lack of quality Asian food in I.V.
“I am passionate about boba and I am passionate about my culture,” Yim said. “I wanted to see more Asian culture in I.V.. We do have a lot of Asian food places in I.V., but I really didn’t feel it was good… I really liked boba, and this is the reason I was really excited to start working here.”
Five months later, Yim has found a sense of community within the walls of the Mojo kitchen, a community that she feels shines through to customers everyday.
“We have a desire to bring good boba to I.V. so we are always trying to improve ourselves and bring out the best drinks. The close knit community in the back between our workers shows through, and that’s what makes us different.”
To Yim and countless other UCSB students, Mojo has become a reliable destination for high quality boba.
“Everytime I’m walking on campus, I hear someone say ‘I want boba, do you want to go to Mojo?’ and I feel like before that, there wasn’t really a certain spot that they would say. When I hear that it makes me happy. I am so proud to work here,” Yim said.
Mojo Teahouse is located at 6578 Trigo Road.
A version of this article appeared on page 4 of the Feb. 20, 2019 issue of the Daily Nexus.
Amira Garewal is a staff writer for the Daily Nexus and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.