The decision to open shop in the western Queens neighborhood came after experiencing positive customer input during the LIC Flea & Food and Astoria Flea & Food at Kaufman Astoria Studios, according to Mathew Wong, one of the co-owners of Tea and Milk.
“This is it, we’re ready and we’re going to do it,” said Wong, who co-owns Tea and Milk with Wilson Ng and Kendy Ng. “Customers have been asking if we are going to open a storefront. We hear that and feel very proud and people have actually been pushing for it.”
On Dec. 2, Wong, along with his partners, signed the lease for a 400-square-foot shop on 34th Avenue, within the Kaufman Arts District.
The exact address is still being kept secret until construction is complete; however the group plans to hold a soft opening by the end of January.
“It feels amazing,” Wong said. “It’s good to be able to add to what Astoria already has. The variety is great and we want to contribute to it.”
At the shop, Tea and Milk plans to serve its customers artisan teas with a menu consisting of a wide range of unconventional teas that include aromatic flowers, fruits and bubbles. Wong emphasized that their teas are made with natural ingredients such a real fruits, chia seeds and real taro.
The shop, which will have seating for about 10 people, will also include coffee and pastries, and may have food from other chefs and vendors.
“The design won’t look like a typical tea shop,” Wong said. “We want people to stay.”
Between the soft opening and the grand opening, the group plans to test hours of operation, looking to open at 7 a.m. and close around 8 or 9 p.m.
According to Wong, in the next five years they would like to expand to have two or three more shops.