Malaysian bubble tea chain Tealive has expanded its footprint in North America with its first store in Ottawa, Canada.
Tealive CEO Bryan Loo said North America was not initially a priority for the company because it was focusing on developing in Asia markets – until it was approached by 1Teaco, a business group involved in running pastry and bakery enterprises, which is now Tealive’s franchisee in Canada.
He also said Loob Holding and Tealive plan to add 50 stores across Canada in the next five years, and that this expansion will allow the brand to learn more about the North American market before expanding to the US.
From a home-grown brand in Malaysia, Tealive now operates 800 stores across the country and is planning to reach 1000 stores there by 2024. It has locations in different markets including Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, the UK and Vietnam.
Earlier this year, Tealive opened its first store in The Philippines and planned to roll out 30 outlets there by the end of this year. In 2018, the brand set its footprint in China as part of its Southeast Asian expansion strategy.