Blossom Bird brings bubble tea to Marquette


Katarina Rothhorn

Blossom Bird Bubble Tea opened in Marquette on Aug. 27 and drew a large crowd of students and community members. They are received so much support that they are currently adjusting their hours to hire more staff.

Sophia Huhta, contributing writer

Bubble tea fanatics from Southeast Michigan turned an idea into reality when they opened their shop, Blossom Bird Bubble Tea, on Third Street this summer.

Daniel and Kaila Ball moved to the U.P. a year ago after falling in love with the natural beauty. They both enjoy traveling whenever they can and look for bubble tea shops whenever they are in a new city, said Daniel.

“We wanted to bring the experience of bubble tea to everyone who stops by on their travels and to offer something different for the local community,” Daniel said.

Bubble tea is a unique drink that originates from Taiwan, it mainly consists of tapioca pearls with tea, but can be made with a multitude of combinations.

Daniel first tried bubble tea in 2010 at MO MO Tea, now named Sweetings Tea, in Ann Arbor. He said he played it safe and ordered a vanilla smoothie with boba. Kaila’s first time trying bubble tea was when she was 12, at Boba Island in Ann Arbor.

“I got a British milk tea with no boba because it freaked me out when I was younger,” Kaila said.

After his first sip, Daniel dreamed of opening a bubble tea shop for years.

“I never acted on it or took it seriously until Kaila gave me the courage and pushed me to take a chance on doing it,” Daniel said.

The first few days after they opened Blossom Bird Bubble Tea were met with a flurry of customers and lines out the door.

Somewhere in the never-ending line and in the bustle of bubble tea lovers, stood Marquette native Reese Carter, a junior at NMU double majoring in illustration and Native American studies.

“It was packed,” Carter said. “There was a line all the way out to the sidewalk and it was raining outside.”

Carter went on Aug. 27, opening day, with a couple of friends. The shop’s walls are decorated with pop culture references and prints by Studio Ghibli and Alphonse Mucha. There is even a terrarium table in the back of the shop.

“It’s very, very, very cute in there,” Carter said. “There’s plants everywhere.”

Because of his love for the root vegetable, Carter ordered taro milk tea with tapioca pearls.

“It was really good,” Carter said. “It matches up with the other places that I’ve had.”

Kaila chose most of the flavors to be stocked in their shop, though they both decided on the three different core types of drinks: milk tea, iced tea and frozen. Their favorite menu items are taro milk tea with tapioca pearls and jasmine milk tea.

The name Blossom Bird started with Kaila’s Neopet account name, Bumble Bird. Neopets is a virtual pet website, which launched in 1999. The old account name was going to be the shop’s name for a while, until they decided it didn’t make sense and wanted to change it, Daniel said.

“We landed on Blossom Bird after rattling off names that sounded similar to Bumble Bird,” Daniel said.

Daniel and Kaila hope to create a space for the community and students alike to feel welcome to hangout for studying or socializing.

“We want to thank everyone for the patience and understanding during our first few weeks of operation,” Daniel said. “We are experiencing a time of growth that we were not expecting and hope to be in a good spot to make the Blossom Bird Bubble Tea experience better for everyone.”

The shop has new temporary hours while they figure out a schedule that works for all their new employees. Tuesday through Saturday noon to 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. as well as on Sunday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. as the shop reaches to meet the high demand of Marquette’s bubble tea starved community. Those hunting for the shop will find it at 128 N. Third St.