Sept. 20, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
LIC just can’t get enough bubble tea!
A Taiwanese-based bubble tea chain is set to open on Jackson Avenue next month – adding to the growing list of bubble tea stores opening in the neighborhood.
I’Milky, a franchise that also has stores in Hong Kong, Malaysia, China, Cambodia, Macau and the Philippines, will open on Oct. 22 at the Prime Building — a new 11-story, 71-unit development located on the corner of Jackson Avenue and 46th Street.
The chain is moving into a 350-square-foot space on the ground floor of the 22-43 Jackson Ave. condo building, which also houses a Trader Joe’s.
The new bubble tea shop will mark the company’s first in Queens and fourth in New York City. I’Milky has two locations in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn.
The company will offer a range of bubble teas as well as fruit teas at its new location. The shop will make the bubble teas from scratch by mixing a tea base with chewy tapioca balls, which are often referred to as “pearls” or “boba.” All of its teas and boba bases are imported from Taiwan.
Maggie Chen, a public relations agent speaking on behalf of I’Milky, told the Queens Post that the company markets itself as offering healthy bubble teas since all of the produce — except for the tapioca balls — used in its beverages are fresh.
For instance, its milk and fruit are sourced from local farmers and vendors, Chen said. She said that some of the company’s competitors often use powdered milk instead of fresh milk in their beverages.
“The younger generation, in particular, are more health-conscious and I’Milky products will tailor to their needs,” Chen said.
I’Milky’s top-selling bubble teas include the classic bubble milk tea, the brown sugar bubble milk and the fresh taro milk, Chen said.
Its fruit teas include fresh strawberry green tea, yogurt green tea and fresh grapefruit green tea. The new store will also sell iced coffees.
At around Christmas time, the new location will launch its food menu which will include boxed meals known as bento boxes. The meals consist of rice, curry, radish, seaweed, and corn mixed with fried chicken or fish.
The company, Chen said, was drawn to the neighborhood because of its burgeoning population and young demographics.
“Long Island City is one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in the five boroughs with many young professionals and students living in the area,” Chen said.
Chen said the company also hopes to take advantage of the high foot traffic along Jackson Avenue, helped by Trader Joe’s.
I’Milky will be takeout only, with the store not planning to provide seating, Chen said.
The establishment will be open seven days a week, although the exact opening hours have yet to be finalized, she said.
I’Milky will add to the increasing list of Asian-inspired bubble tea stores to open in Long Island City over the past 18 months.
Last month, another Taiwanese-based bubble tea franchise called One-Zo, opened on the ground floor of 42-15 Crescent St., an 11-story apartment building near the Queensboro Plaza subway station.
Meanwhile, Chun Yang Tea, a company that is also based in Taiwan, opened late last year at 49-10 Vernon Blvd.
Möge Tee, a global bubble tea chain, opened in June 2021 on the ground floor of The View at East Coast condominium building – a 184-unit complex located at 46-30 Center Blvd. The chain also has a store at 42-38 Crescent St.
Finally, Teazzi Tea Shop, which also sources its tapioca balls from Taiwan, opened in April 2021 on the ground floor of the Hayden residential building—a 51-story complex in Court Square located at 43-21 Hunter St.
Do you know of a new establishment opening in Queens? Let us know by emailing [email protected] with the details.