California native Karen Nguyen said Texas gave her the shot she needed to start her own business.
Nguyen was 21 years old when she opened Teaholic Teahouse & Restaurant in June 2019 off Justin Road in Highland Village.
The Asian fusion eatery serves dozens of tea and coffee varieties that can be customized with add-ons like boba, jellies and drizzles. The menu also features pho, dry noodle and rice dishes to compliment those beverages.
Opening Teaholic was the motivation for Nguyen and her family to move to Highland Village. The suite’s former tenant was seeking someone to take over the lease, and Nguyen said she was convinced the North Texas locale would lead to success.
“The community is very kindhearted and caring when you need them the most,” Nguyen said of her customer base and neighboring business owners. “It’s kind of rare because in California, they don’t really.”
After-school hangout spots originally inspired Nguyen, who said boba spots are a mainstay within the Asian community. Businesses that serve boba and robust food offerings are where cherished memories were made, according to Nguyen.
Those memories, in tandem with Asian food her parents prepared in her childhood, would eventually spur her to start an original venture.
“I grew up around that Asian community, so I was inspired by that,” Nguyen said. “I really enjoyed that and have a lot of memories—I wanted to do my own.”
Entrepreneurial leg work, such as learning the ins and outs of taxes and permits, was a challenge, Nguyen said. Determination and growing experience, she added, have made these hurdles more bearable.
Looking forward, the business owner said she hopes to eventually expand into other markets and potentially secure a beer and wine license for Teaholic.
Nguyen said that navigating her business through the COVID-19 pandemic has proved challenging, but community support and an overarching vision have pressed her forward, she said.
“We have to come in early and stay late. We put in a lot of work to make sure quality is up to par,” Nguyen said. “It’s been very difficult, but I’m learning as I go and have made it through.”
Teaholic Teahouse & Restaurant is located at 2940 Justin Road, Unit 100, in Highland Village. Phone: 469-763-3171 Website: https://teaholicteahouserestaurant.business.site Hours: Tue.-Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., closed Mon.
Asian drinks, cuisine collide at Teaholic Teahouse & Restaurant in Highland Village
Karen Nguyen owns Teaholic Teahouse & Restaurant in Highland Village. (Matt Payne/Community Impact Newspaper)