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Popular LIC Flea vendor to open natural tea store in Astoria

Dec. 10, 2014 By Michael Florio

A popular vendor at the LIC Flea and Food market will soon be opening a brick-and-mortar store in Astoria.

Tea and Milk, a tea and bubble tea vendor, will be opening up a 400 square foot store on 34th Street, within the confines of the Kaufman Astoria Arts District, according to co-owner Mathew Wong.

Wong and his business partners Kendy and Wilson Ng have not yet disclosed the exact location, but said the shop will be opening in late January/early February. The partners will disclose the exact location a week before opening.

When the shop opens it will offer similar items to what it had been offering at the flea market–including Peach White tea, Apple Green tea and Taro bubble tea, Wong said. He said that they will be made with natural ingredients such as real fruits, taro and chia seeds.

“The menu will start off being the same [as the flea] and then it will grow from there,” Wong said. “We are always testing new items.”

He wouldn’t disclose any items that are in the works, since they are still in the development stage.

However, he did say the shop will sell pastries and it is considering selling tea bags.

Tea and Milk has become popular since it began vending at the LIC Flea in 2013 and then the Astoria Flea at the Kaufman Astoria in 2014. This inspired the owners to open a shop in Astoria.

“We want to stay in Astoria because we have built quite a fan base here,” he said. “They’ve kept coming back to the flea [markets] for us and have supported us.”

Wong said Astoria also brings a lot of foot traffic, which is appealing as a store owner.

Wong said the company has not been vending since the outdoor LIC Flea and Food closed this fall.

He said the company plans on returning to the LIC Flea and Food this April, when the outdoor market kicks off again in 2015.


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