Realising Retail Potential

Nirmita Budathoki and Nikeeta Rai launch Tambee’s Bubble Tea at Pentagon Shopping Centre, Kent

Two friends have taken their first dip into the world of mall retail and launched a Bubble tea kiosk at the Pentagon Shopping Centre.

Former dental nurse of six years, Nirmita Budathoki and friend Nikeeta Rai, a former carer of three years, had been friends for seven years when they decided to go into business together this summer. With nowhere locally offering the popular drink, they saw a gap in the market and decided that the popular Bubble tea from Asia would be a welcome addition at their local shopping centre in Chatham.

Bubble tea is the name given to the wide variety of refreshing flavoured fruit teas and milk teas that are served ice cold or piping hot. The drink contains chewy natural tapioca balls that you suck up through a large straw. The drink is trending on Instagram and extremely popular amongst teenagers and with Kent University and Mid Kent College close by, the Pentagon Shopping Centre was the ideal location for their new venture.

Fortunately for them, another friend and former Bubble tea retailer had decided to return to the army and they were able to purchase their ready-made stand for a reasonable price.  They contacted Space to trade and secured a spot on the mall in June. After support and a little handholding from Tina Shah, Commercial Director at Space to trade, they hosted their launch at the Pentagon within just eight weeks.  The launch in September saw a lot of interested customers and sampling created quite a buzz on the mall – they managed to sell over 300 cups on their first day!

Nirmita told us, ‘Space to trade has been very supportive in helping us to launch our business. The team were on hand to help and advise us with everything from power supply, designing our promotional posters, right down to being there for the installation late into a Friday evening and spurring us on at our the launch event in the centre’.

The duo is planning to expand to other shopping centres in the future, with the continued support of Space to trade.

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