Co-founders of O.C.-based Milk Box Robert Hoang and Truong Kim created Boba Box, a DIY boba tea kit with the mission of feeding a million people and supporting our community during a challenging time. Since its debut in early July, Boba Box has helped provide 3,200 meals for those in need. Hoang tells us more about how the project started and how they plan to expand:
What inspired you to create Boba Box?
Milk Box has always stood for more than just great tea. So in this season we’re all in, with so much hate and disharmony, what could we possibly do as a pair of friends to be a light in our community? The answer was Boba Box.
How are you giving back to the community?
We promise to donate $5 from each Boba Box to Bracken’s Kitchen to help with the necessary food items to complete 10 meals. (We’re also helping) anyone in need of a little extra cash during this tough season. If people like what we stand for and want to help us spread hope, they can sign up to become a Brand Partner at milkboxbar.com. In return, we’d gladly pay $5 for each Boba Box sold. On top of that, if anyone chooses to use a Brand Partner code, they will receive 10% off their purchase. We source everything inside our Boba Box—including the tea, boba, and all the labels and bags—from local business owners. Our hope is that this will help them keep their doors open when so many of their regular brick-and-mortar customers are now out of business. (We also want) to create jobs. Right now, it’s just the two of us, but with the demand we’re seeing, we’ll need to hire a few people soon to help us fulfill all the orders.
Did you expect such a great response to Boba Box?
(The response) was beyond our expectations because we closed our last (store) in the middle of 2019 and went MIA on social media. We thought that maybe all of our followers and community had moved on. Our first Boba Box launch was on July 4 and we completely sold out of 200 Boba Boxes in a little over 2 hours.
Why do you think Boba Box is so appealing, especially during this pandemic?
When so many are stuck at home, many are looking for different things to do to keep busy, especially for those with young kids. I have two kids, and my 11 year old can now make her own boba. Additionally, because of the COVID-19 fear, people are cooking at home more and food subscription services are increasing.
Are you planning on doing another run of boxes?
Absolutely. Our goal is to help feed a million people and we have a long way to go. We don’t have a date for our next run, but the good news is that our friends over at Bracken’s Kitchen have offered to help us scale. That means our next run will be way more than 200 boxes.