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Meet Jenny Zheng of Little Fluffy Head Cafe in Downtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenny Zheng.

Jenny, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started working at a boba tea franchise when I was getting my Master’s degree in Bioengineering at UCLA three years ago. At first, it was just a part-time job for some extra income, but gradually I fell in love with my work. I was excited to learn how to cook boba and how to make different beverages. More importantly, my job gave me the opportunity to meet new people every day and connect with them.

Being the closest boba tea shop near the school and the hospital, most customers would come in during school breaks and work breaks for a little afternoon treat to relieve their stresses. I love seeing that we were able to make them happier just by serving good boba drinks and engaging in genuine conversations. It was a totally different environment than at school. I love that I was able to spread positivity and delight people directly through the work I do. I knew at that time that’s what I wanted to do, sharing the joy with the people I meet through the work I do.

I stumbled upon a new boba tea trend when I was visiting China in the summer of 2015 and fell in love with the novelty of the idea of cheese boba tea and decided to bring the concept back to the States. So upon graduation, instead of going a traditional route with my degree, I decided to spend the time to develop my own version of cheese tea. In 2017, I opened the first ever specialized cheese tea shop, Little Fluffy Head Cafe in Los Angeles, providing customers the deeply adored boba tea but with an added twist-cheese boba tea.

Today, we have built a loyal fan base, and customers love our little shop as their mini escape from work or school.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It wasn’t easy for me. Without any business or management background, every day was a struggle for me in terms of making the right business decisions for the team. I think the biggest challenge I have faced so far is to constantly fight the fear of failure and be able to lead a team of good people with a positive attitude.

Luckily, I have a very supportive family to encourage me to go on my journey. My family always tells me that it’s not the end of the world to make a wrong decision, but the inability to make a decision will ultimately strangle a business. I took the advice to heart, and I have always reminded myself not to be afraid to make decisions.

Little Fluffy Head Cafe – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Cheese tea is a new style of tea drink which tea is capped with a layer of thick cheese flavored cream. Boba is added for the additional texture. The trend started in Asia and went viral in the last summer. Customers waited in line for hours for a cup of cheese tea.

Essentially, the layer of cheese cream consists of cheese, whipping cream, milk, and sugar and salt. The sweet and subtle salty taste of the cream helps mask the bitterness of tea and makes the tea extra refreshing and smooth. Little Fluffy Head Cafe is the first ever specialized cheese tea shop in Los Angeles, providing customers the deeply adored boba tea but with an added twist-cheese boba tea. We called it Fluffy Tea.

Since then, we have built on top of the original cheese tea flavor and ventured into creating cheese cream with distinctive flavors that can be paired with ice tea, boba milk tea, or matcha. The original cheese tea was made using cream cheese, but we have experimented with white cheddar cheese, goat cheese, and blue cheese. Some other favors we have created include creme brûlée, pumpkin spice, white chocolate, tiramisu, and vegan coconut cream.

Each cream is made from scratch in small batches with sweet and savory varieties. Our goal is to provide an original and innovative drink experience to the customers. It’s no longer just a traditional cup of boba tea or tea latte, rather it is something that’s unique and special.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I believe a business owner should have the following three important qualifications before she is defined as a successful business owner.

-The ability to delegate. As business owners, we are coming with a mindset that we can do everything, and we are tempted to act on any issues that come to us without a second thought. This could create a problem if it will sacrifice your time for high-value tasks.

Letting go can be difficult especially if you are a perfectionist like most entrepreneurs and care deeply about the quality of work. However, time is not a renewable source. Each day needs to be used wisely and cannot be afforded to spend on minor things. If it is not a major task that involves your decision-making, and someone can do the job 80% as good as you can, then you should delegate it, and make good use of your time on something that is much more important.

-The ability to prioritize. As a leader of the team, we fight a daily battle with distraction and interruption. Put your focus on the tasks that deliver value. Peripheral activities such as constantly checking emails and nonsense meetings that have no real point or agenda should be kept at minimum. Entrepreneurs’ work is valued when results are delivered which is very different from regular jobs when time and effort is the value. As a result, you should always prioritize value-creating work over other tasks.

-Never wait. Don’t let perfectionism delays you. Nothing is perfect the first time. When there is a strategy in place, implement it quickly, and learn as you go. Rather than keep polishing it on the paper until someone acts faster than you and catches on.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Senya Studio

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