By Marissa Mistriner
Special to Niagara Frontier Publications
Since Simply Boba opened its doors in June, the business has remained a popular hotspot for members of Grand Island and the surrounding areas.
In reflecting on the first four months of operation, owner Vinh Nguyen said, “It’s gone better than expected. You know, we kind of anticipated it being more of a slower growth, but it gained a lot of traction really fast, and so it’s just now trying to keep the momentum going.”
Simply Boba employees are constantly on the move getting orders ready for their customers – from those ordering in-house to takeout, and the recent addition of DoorDash.
Attendance has remained steady due to the variety of ordering options offered.
Vinh Nguyen said, “It’s kind of hard to tell. Like, Grand Island filled the space early, but now we do a lot of DoorDash and takeout. So, you know, yeah, it’s just different. It hasn’t dipped off; it’s just thrown in different ways.”
Michele Nguyen, wife of Vinh Nguyen, said, “We definitely have a strong group of regulars … and then we will still see new faces like every week, almost daily.”
While Simply Boba is always busy, the staff works hard to create a welcoming and friendly environment for customers.
Grand Island local Kaylee Boyle said, “The atmosphere was very nice and relaxing. I felt like I was able to just sit back and relax there.”
Not only has Simply Boba gained some loyal customers over the past four months, but it has also gained a lot of support from the Grand Island community.
“Social media has all been pretty positive for us. The community has been positive, but it’s, again, it’s tough. It’s 10,000 homes on Grand Island, 23,000 people. And I would still say that people come in and go, ‘I didn’t know you were here. I’ve lived here my whole life, and I didn’t know you were here.’ … So, we’re learning how to market that,” Vinh Nguyen said.
While living on Grand Island was a perk for deciding where the business should be located, Vinh Nguyen said, “Actually, before I opened this, I’d already built a pretty strong relationship with a lot of the community. I coached a lot of their (Grand Island residents) kids and ran sports programs. So, we already had a good network of people that knew us.”
While they have only been open for a short time, Simply Boba has already held a successful vendor fair that helped other local businesses and got their own name out there.
Vinh Nguyen would love to hold more of these events in the future and has a few plans already in the works.
“We’ll probably have another full vendor fair happening in the spring as we get ready to jump back into summer,” Vinh Nguyen said.
As far as menu items, Simply Boba’s lemonades are constantly flying off the shelves, along with anything strawberry, and its “Tiger Tea.”
Boyle said her favorite item on the menu is the West River lemonade.
Vinh Nguyen wanted to bring something different to Grand Island.
“Not that they’re bad, but you’ve got to have something other than pizza and wings, so we wanted to offer something different.”
For more information about Simply Boba, visit www.simplybobagi.com or call 716-775-5037. Simply Boba is located at 2600 Grand Island Blvd.
This is a Niagara University student-created piece completed as part of the course CMS 226A. For more information, contact the Niagara Frontier Publications’ managing editor.