This Saturday marks seven years since Tempo first opened its doors in Glasgow. The delicacy hailing from Taiwan wasn’t too popular in the UK, but after spotting someone in London with a cup of Boba Tea, Tempo’s founder, May Gem Tan, considered bringing the product up North to become the first of its kind in Scotland.
Now in 2020, the shop has expanded into two shops, one in Glasgow and another in the capital city of Edinburgh, as well as a large online presence. With our birthday approaching, we spoke to May Gem about the future of Tempo and the last seven years of success and excitement.
By being the first Boba Tea Store meant that we had to educate the majority of people on what this product is. It's been around since the 80s but wasn't a well-known product at all when we started. This meant having to go to lots of events to sample the product as that's the best way for people to understand what Bubble Tea is! I mean telling people it's a drink with balls in it sounds a bit weird and if you've never had anything like this before then it's very hard to imagine what it's going to taste like!
We have developed a good loyal customer base by being the first and have seen many of our customers from the beginning still visit us. I think as we are a small family business, it means that people are more willing to support us as most of the other Bubble Tea stores are chains. By being independent means we can have a bit more fun with our drink range and engage with our customers on what flavours they'd like us to bring out. Our customers are great and we are lucky to have them support us from the beginning to allow us to turn 7!
Tempo has evolved a lot since we began and now are the only Boba Tea to be supplemented, we've grown from just being a Bubble Tea brand as we've got lots of other products on offer now. We create other drinks tailored to well-being and fitness, have a wide vegan range, and want to educate our customers on the benefits of drinking tea. With the pandemic, we realised the importance of having an online presence and will be looking to grow our reach with our online store also.
We’ve had many hurdles to jump over since the beginning and there's bound to be more in the future. It's never really smooth sailing with business and there'll always be peaks and troughs and each one is a learning experience that'll make you better equipped for the future. The biggest hurdle was in the beginning when we expanded a bit too quickly and stretched ourselves too thin, I guess the excitement of all the opportunities blindsided us from seeing the potential problems that can arise from taking on too much. We now make sure to do a proper analysis of any potential opportunities and aren't quick to jump the gun on anything.
Our 7th Birthday is a great achievement and we have offers on this week until Sunday both in-store and online.
In-store offers we have:
- Our drink and reusable bottle deal for only £4.50, we had this deal for zero waste week and it was very popular so we are bringing it back. We are trying to cut down ours and our customers' use of plastic so it's a Win/Win.
- We still have our Happy Boba hour from open till 3pm where you can buy one, get a one-half price if you sign up to our newsletter!
- Finally, we are giving away a limited number of goodie bags worth over £10 to customers who send us a direct message on our Facebook page with code word BIRTHDAY2020
Our online offer is for any online order you can get a free goodie bag worth over £10 until Sunday. There's a limited number available and you simply use the code word BIRTHDAY2020 to redeem it!