Big Mouthful of Entrepreneurship | persons
It’s a common waiver by parents of high school or college students.
But when someone is tired of doing the same thing, has a little ambition, and a few connections, there’s a little more they can do than just get a summer job.
“My parents kind of pushed me to apply, but I wasn’t happy doing the things I had done,” said Teagan Thompson, a graduate student at the University of Wyoming. “I started toying with the idea, ‘What if I started my own business?'”
The former Cody High School student and state tennis champion ended up doing a little more than throwing around the idea of starting her own business.
For the last two summers she has owned and operated one of the most popular food trucks in the world, offering customers a refreshing, fun drink that is hugely popular across the country.
Bubble T’s spent the season parked around Cody, visiting county fairs and events in the area, giving novices and experienced alike a taste of refreshing, unique Boba beverages.
“It’s originally a Taiwanese drink that has come to America in recent years and has become very popular,” Thompson said. “It’s mostly found on the East or West Coast, but it’s a drink I’ve fallen in love with when I travel.”
The delicious teas and sodas come in a variety of flavors, can be sweet or not too sweet, and are filled with either tapioca or white pearls.
Tapioca pearls have a neutral flavor and a chewy and spongy texture.
Soft and jelly-like, Crystal Boba is mouth-popping and has a delicious, subtle citrus flavor thanks to the plant they’re made from.
“I knew I loved it and you don’t really find it in Wyoming or Cody,” Thompson said. “My parents absolutely loved the idea and I started looking around for trailers, found one and it was like, ‘I can afford this.'”
It was a simple cargo trailer that required some work to be used as a viable food truck.
After picking up the small trailer in Salt Lake, she went through the process of registering as an LLC and enlisted the help of a few familiar faces to get the trailer fit for a small business.
“My friend and his brother are both very talented welders and fabricators,” Thompson said. “They were the ones who installed the window for me and built the entire interior of the trailer. All I had to pay for was materials, so that was pretty cheap.”
Another food truck owner in town helped her get city permits and health inspections, and advised her on a few other small details to get started.
“Actually, it wasn’t that hard,” Thompson said. “There was just an application with the City of Cody if you want to be a salesman and have a food truck. I had to be inspected by the Department of Agriculture and I took a food safety course to learn how to do things safely.”
It was up and running on June 6th last year and was doing so well that it decided to do it again this year.
“In the end, people love these drinks and keep coming back,” Thompson said. “It was fun to have a slightly different food truck that people enjoy.”
She still hits the tennis courts at UW in the intramural program and competes in tournaments in the area, but the psychology major said starting her own business might be a more important calling for now.
And hopefully next summer the Bubble T devotee will be back in Cody bringing the special treats to customers.
“My whole family is addicted to it,” Thompson said. “I tell so many other people my age that if they want to start their own business, give it a try. It’s not as hard as you think. It’s worth it and so much fun.”
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