You know how we always say Paymentsmith is built by business owners, for business owners? Meet Nima Faghih, Owner of Bubbleology in Arizona and Paymentsmith’s VP of Sales Operations and Partnerships. His local, vibrant eatery brings joy to the community of Tempe, Arizona by serving up delicious boba tea, fresh waffles, gelato and good vibes. Today, we’re here to share Nima’s story of how and why he started Bubbleology in Arizona, and the challenges he faced as a new business owner.
History of Bubbleology
Nima brought Bubbleology to Arizona in 2018 because he wanted to bring something fun, new and exciting to the Greater Phoenix Area. Living in Los Angeles for 6 years, he realized that the food culture in L.A. was much further along than in Arizona. Being a self-proclaimed foodie, that didn’t sit well with him.
During a vacation trip to London in 2017, Nima noticed that there was a Bubbleology on every corner, much like Starbucks in the United States. Nima ventured into a shop one day and for him, it was love at first sight. He was instantly attracted to the fun, vibrant brand of the boutique-feel shops. The bright colors and modern atmosphere were a sight for sore eyes.
“I met the team and the CEO of the company and I was instantly connected to what they were trying to create and I knew then and there that I had to bring it to the U.S,” Says Nima.
Nima also fell in love with the high-quality, organic products and the innovative approach to bubble waffles and gelato. The waffles are made fresh to order, topped with creamy gelato and wrapped up in a cone shape for a grab n’ go treat.
His favorite item on the menu, however, was the eclectic boba tea and the flavorful, pop-able bubbles.
“Most Boba tea companies in the U.S. use gelatin boba that is made from animal fat. At Bubbleology, we use boba made from seaweed. It’s vegetarian, which is more universal for consumers today. The texture is also a lot different. Instead of chewy, you get a fun, pop-able boba that’s packed with fruity, sweet flavor. The customers love that part the most.”
The concept of Bubbleology was originally conceived by CEO Assad Khan, who spent a few years Taiwan developing the perfect product to bring back to his home in London. In 2011, that idea came to fruition in the heart of Soho London and has since spread internationally.
Business Case for Bubbleology in Arizona
Thus far, we’ve made owning a Boba shop sound like peaches and cream. That is, however, not always the case. Starting and owning a business comes with its own challenges, which is why we sat down and asked Nima a series of questions that might just help out the next person in their pursuit for entrepreneurship.
What’s Your Biggest Challenge in Owning a Business?
“Marketing and brand awareness. There’s several other boba shops that have popped up around us. There are also a lot of great coffee shops now too. The specialty drink market is growing larger and larger around the Phoenix area. Business growth and competition should be looked at as a positive thing, but it also makes you more aware of the need to attract and retain customers. Much importance is in the product itself but I would say a lot of returning business is the service they’re receiving, which means it’s imperative to find good people that you can train to do so.
There’s also a challenge around education. Consumers in the U.S. hear tea and they’re turned off, coffee is the well-known and desired drink. We’re constantly trying to educate customers on the different flavor profiles of tea and all the different things you can make with it.”
What Would You Do Different Knowing What You Know Now?
“I would have partnered with more student organizations at the nearby ASU college campus and had a bigger, more thought-out grand opening. I also would have created more strategic partnerships with local influencers that could help market and showcase that we care about the community. The biggest success that we had this year was after partnering with other community organizations that gave back to charity. People feel really connected when you’re able to fight together for a cause. It really humanizes your brand and your product as a result.”
What Advice Would you Give to Other Aspiring Business Owners?
“Don’t underestimate the power of marketing. It’s more than just your product and people, even though those are big pieces of the pie. You need to be able to pick apart what separates your business from the rest. Share what makes you different that on social media and other outlets, and figure out how you’re going to do that strategically. People want to identify with brands and if you aren’t relevant to them, they won’t care about it.
Also, try to partner with other brands and organizations that share a similar vision. It’s a great way to grow business.”
What is Your Hope or Mission for Bubbleology?
“Bubbleology was created to be a safe, fun place for people of all races, gender, sex, religion, and walks of life to come and enjoy. I just want a place where everyone feels welcome. We have board games, free wifi and big open seating areas. We love it when people just come and hangout. We want to always provide our customers with the highest-quality food and service always.”
Want to learn more about Bubbleology in Arizona? Visit their website at www.bubbleologyusa.com for more details. For more information on Bubbleology Owner, Nima Faghih, be sure to check out this related Paymentsmith blog article. We hope you enjoyed learning more about Bubbleology today. Please feel free to share this story as well as your thoughts!