Owner of Boba Suite Tea House on Marshall Street, Glenda Nunez, spills to JERK about what she was like as a freshman and what we can expect to see from the teahouse in the future. She also gives us advice on how to survive the winter in Syracuse and shares her favorite drink in the house.
1. What is your favorite drink on the menu?
I go through phases, so my favorite right now is lychee apple nectar.
2. What’s your favorite food spot on Marshall Street?
It really depends on what I’m in the mood for, but my go to is definitely Oishi Sushi because we just kind of run over, Varsity Pizza if we have time to sit down, Jimmy John’s if we’re in a rush, and Bleu Monkey whenever we’re feeling special.
3. If you could change SU’s colors, what would you change them to?
I’d bring back the navy; bring back the navy with the orange. I like the orange because it’s unique and, honestly, off this campus I don’t really see it. I love orange, but I would definitely want to bring back the navy.
4. Can you tell us a little bit about the history of Boba Suite Tea House?
The previous owners were actually three students from SU and they opened it in August 2010, then I started working here last summer in July. I officially took over management on March 15, but we were still in the transition phases and I hadn’t signed any legal paper work so that was like a trial month. As of April 2011 I became the official owner and, as of yesterday, I paid the down payment, so it’s official.
5. How do you feel about Kim Kardashian?
I’m not into the whole reality TV thing.
6. What’s your best tip for dealing with Syracuse winters?
I think just enjoy them because I spent my first two years complaining about it and then my third and fourth year, I just stopped complaining and just enjoyed it. Bundle up and go for a walk.
7. What’s something people don’t know about you?
The past four years have been really rough on me. Just going into why the staff and I bonded so strongly against what these three owners have done is mostly because when I was in college, I was broke. My family and I had been just awful with the whole financial situation. During college, the way I explain it to people was I worked four jobs: one for tuition, one for my family, one for myself, and one for bills. I worked four jobs or more depending on the semester and what I could get. I actually own another business—it’s a florist shop. With that florist, I was kind of able to buy my freedom, and the purchase of this teahouse feels like it’s my baby. I guess what people don’t know about me is that I used to be homeless when I was very young and I don’t want the staff here or anyone to go through what I went through.
8. In one sentence, what do you do all day?
I multitask. I have to multi-task everything if I want to get done what I need to get done and still be able to have some free time.
9. What was your first job?
Sadler dining hall.
10. What’s at the top of your bucket list?
Travel around the world. It’s a big thing to check off, but I want to travel. I want to go back to Hong Kong. I studied abroad there in 2010.
11. Your go-to vending machine delicacy?
Probably a Pop-Tart.
12. Freshman year at SU, you were the kid who…
I kind of kept to myself. I was a little awkward. I was just kind of trying to find myself. I tried any and everything on this campus.
13. What can we look forward to at the Boba Suite Tea House?
I want people to look forward to the changes that we are going to make because, right now, we just do teas but I do want to add food to the menu. It’ll be something small, not like sit-down dinner—some pastries and bakery stuff. I want to expand to parfaits and yogurts with a wide variety of toppings. We just want to connect more with the campus. I want students to have a place to showcase their work and for kids to think of this place as a home base to chill. I want to create a more ‘homey’ feel. For long-term, we’re experimenting with a Boba late-night menu with like a Baileys mint chocolate chip milkshake.
Visit Boba Suite Tea House at 713 South Crouse Avenue or call it an order at (315) 299-5084.