Being that Durham is home to colleges such as N.C. Central University and Duke University, it is no surprise there are a variety of restaurants, bars and shops that appeal to students.
One spot is the Quickly Tea House which also calls itself “Durham’s Original Boba Tea Shop.”
It’s home to one student favorite called “bubble tea” and is located at 2604A Hillsborough Road.
With a snack and drink that can cost you as little as $10 and is located about nine minutes from NCCU’s campus, it is a popular choice for college students on a budget.
When a customer walks in they are hit with the scent of popcorn chicken. There’s often K-Pop on TV and patrons stand in line to conversation humming at the tables as others enjoying their tea and snacks.
Dark green walls with yellow and brown décor give off a very earthy, almost homey tone, making it a simple and stylish atmosphere to study.
Quickly offers a variety of drinks, ranging from milk teas to coffee.
“For a first-time customer, I would personally recommend the Okinawa Brown Sugar Tea, the Taro Milk Tea, and the Tiger Milk tea,” current owner Lee Howard said.
Quickly is the perfect hangout spot for college students wanting to grab a quick bite to eat where they can hang out and study, Howard said.
Apart of the Quickly franchise, Original Boba Tea Shop was opened by native Bay Area Californian Jackie Zhou in November 2018. Zhou sold the tea shop to Howard just over a year ago.
As a Trademark Licensee Program franchisee, the owner only pays for consulting, set up and annual renewal fees. After that, the business owner is free to operate how they please.
North Carolina now has four Quickly locations. Others are located in Chapel Hill, Charlotte, and Morrisville.
Howard got into the business of bubble tea while frequenting another Quickly location. He says he is still learning the ropes of managing and running a business.
“Running the business is a little harder than I thought it would be,” he said. “One of the things I learned is to hire older personnel. With high school kids — while they were exceptional workers — I don’t have them for a long time, especially if they’re on their way to college. It’s much easier to have older workers that I will have longer.”