Sunlight gleams upon the tiles, the pastel flowers pop out around the business’s sign. It reads “Ding Tea,” and the welcoming tones of a hearty “Welcome to Ding Tea!” are heard throughout the shop.
These are the first moments visitors experience when they visit the newest and hottest tea shop in Fayetteville, Ding Tea.
Franchisee and local business owner Kevin Hoang, a native of Fayetteville since 2006, has recently sought to provide the city with his vision for superior, quality tea. During the soft opening of the new location, Hoang spoke on his goals as a business owner, his thoughts on being a franchisee and his opinion on Ding Tea as a brand. He talked about his aims with setting up shop in the city and his personal history concerning tea, business and the community as a whole.
Hoang, originally from California, is a long-time businessman who makes his living navigating the complex and ever-changing economic landscape. Upon arriving in Fayetteville, his daughter, a college student at one of the state’s universities, inspired him to take the plunge into the tea business. But why? Why open a tea shop in a market so saturated by the current zeitgeist’s obsession with boba tea?
“I’ve been doing business my whole life, but my daughter convinced me to open a boba shop. ‘The tea here is so bland.’ So I began seriously considering it. We researched social media intensely to learn what the community wanted and needed. It was then that I decided, ‘If we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it right,’” he said.
Upon seeing so many tea shops begin opening their doors in recent times, Hoang was convinced that the market had room for a business model focused on quality and the community. He immediately began addressing the most important pillar of any reputable business, quality control.
When asked why he chose to franchise under Ding Tea, Hoang had this to say.
“Their quality control is why I chose them. Quality is hard to do, and it’s expensive. Sometimes you’ve got to pay to play.” Hoang continued, “When it comes to tea, there are a lot of styles. Ding tea, across the world, is known for high-quality teas.”
Hoang noted that the basis for good tea begins with quality tea leaves. His philosophy of ensuring a quality product naturally found him seeking brands with a history of quality, recognition, and mass appeal.
“You can say you’re a master tea maker, but if the tea tastes bad who cares? We wanted to create tea that people like drinking.”
After deciding on what brand to franchise under, Hoang got the opportunity to go to Taiwan himself in order to learn and be certified in Ding Tea’s course of tea making.
Upon receiving his certification and having the location approved by Ding Tea, Hoang was able to set up his new shop at its current location on Yadkin Road.
“I like the diversity. We’re a melting pot of people, races, and cultures. We don’t just cater to one over the other. Part of why I went with Ding Tea is because of how recognizable they are. Our brand is recognized by people from other countries around the world,” said Hoang.
Hoang went on further to say, “We’ve been here since 2006. We’ve been watching the trends and none of them [local tea brands] are to our standards. So I thought, ‘Let’s show everyone what real tea tastes like.’“
Kevin Hoang, his family, and the brand behind him, Ding Tea, are ecstatic and eager to share their perspective on quality tea and boba with our city, and hope to bring their customers and, soon to be, regulars a premier tea experience in which one not just drinks tea, but enjoys it, too.
Hoang and his shop look forward to engaging with the community, receiving feedback, and sharing their love of tea with those who come out to see the new location.
Hoang even shared with Up and Coming Weekly that there are already plans to add food to the menu this coming January that will provide people with healthy and quick nutrition on the go.
With new tastes on the horizon, there’s never been a better time to expand one’s taste palette through the art of tea making and its evolution into modern boba.
Ding Tea is located at 5447 Yadkin Road and is open Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, you can contact them through their website at www.dingteafayetteville.com/contact or via their phone number at 910-339-2028.