Working with mentors at the sushi counter inside Albertsons, Lee has developed a boba and smoothie bar that has been a hit with customers.
“I first wanted to start a business around April,” said Lee. “So it’s been a “lifelong” dream for the better part of four months.” All kidding aside, Lee said that he undertook the endeavor for the challenge.
Lee began his quest to start his own food-service business this year to provide the area with something it was missing. Lee has been in the industry for more than four years as a sushi chef, and the culinary school has helped him hone is craft. The first idea was to create a baked-potato bar, but Albertsons shot it down. Then, the idea for boba came about, and the business started coming together.
“My favorite part was creating the recipes,” said Lee. “The greatest challenge was separating my taste from what the customer wants. I’m not a huge sweets guy but most of America is so I had to make my items way sweeter than I would like.”
After some trial and error on recipes and delays in getting the equipment, He was finally ready to open.
“Once I got the recipe down and saw the same people coming back over and over again, I consider that to be a success,” said Lee.
It hasn’t all been easy though. Lee said he has had to sacrifice some, and at first, things were a bit slow.
“I did the math and I was making on average $0.33 an hour,” he said, but it has improved. “I wanted to get the business set, a system of operations set and have it turn a moderate profit then hand it off to someone else who will continue running it. Which is what I did so hooray.”
The store is located inside Albertsons in Goleta, 7127 Hollister Avenue, Goleta, CA