Cha Community (formerly Waco Cha) was inspired after a season of learning to cook and create community through food and tea. As Asian Americans with Chinese and Taiwanese immigrant backgrounds, we [Devin & Jaja] had difficulties finding the food and drinks we grew up loving in Central Texas. In addition, finding Asian American inclusion and representation was a challenge.
With our passions for authentic Chinese and Taiwanese food and beverages and the values of diversity, community, and courage, we dreamed of a small business in 2017 with a mission of bridging cultures and creating community. We didn’t have a business plan but we had our mission and values in hand alongside boba tea (also know as bubble milk tea) recipes we had tested out in our kitchen. We submitted an application for our boba tea pop-up idea to the Waco Downtown Farmer’s Market. 茶 (chá) - the Chinese word for “tea” - was incorporated both into the name for the business and the original logo. After over a year of waiting, our boba tea pop-up idea was accepted into the Farmer’s Market and eventually launched on Saturday, June 16, 2018 in a small 10’ by 10’ tent.
After one full year at the farmer’s market, our pop-up tent grew to sustain and launch a mobile boba tea truck in downtown Waco summer 2019. We continued seeking to create community through events including Board Game and Boba Nights and Dumpling Night Workshops - using original recipes from Devin’s grandfather - around Waco. The COVID-19 pandemic brought a halt to many of the Cha community events.
Spring 2020 - in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic - our first storefront opened in downtown Waco at 1001 Franklin Ave. Our dumpling food concept pop-up tent opened at the Waco Downtown Farmer’s Market summer 2020.
Summer 2021, our co-owner Devin Li and small business was recognized as a Forbes Next 1000 Honoree. This award was given by Forbes to "bold and inspiring entrepreneurs who are redefining what it means to run a business today." We were extremely honored to receive this national recognition!
In the Fall of 2021, we rebranded from the original name of Waco Cha to Cha Community to better encompass our continued mission, values, and vision -- bridging cultures and creating community through premium boba tea and handcrafted dumplings. With our values of community, diversity, and courage, we plan to continue creating community with our team, our guests, and within the local communities Cha Community is a part of.
On Friday March 4, 2022, our second storefront in downtown Temple, Texas opened! We are excited to continue creating community through premium boba tea and handcrafted dumplings throughout Central Texas! Follow our journey today through our social media Instagram page here.