Ashland’s Latest Sweet Spot Now Open
I have said it once and I will say it again… the city of Ashland, Kentucky really knows how to build up the city and bring in hip new businesses with a unique twist quite frequently. Recently, Ashland added yet another unique business venue to the popular downtown district area. Bubbles N Sweets recently opened its doors for business at 1517 Winchester Ave. and is owned by Lavenna and Bill Stambaugh. Bubbles N Sweets is more than just your average tea shop.
Lavenna Stambaugh’s vision for this unique business began a few years ago. She shared with us just how it all began, “I started with making gelatin cakes during the pandemic and selling them online. Then, noticing the worldwide popularity of boba tea and the excitement and joy people feel when they get an awesome boba tea, I just knew I had to learn more! After traveling to Cincinnati and buying several different brands, I reached out to my favorite. I went through a 26-lesson course, then was allowed to purchase, and sell their product. We spent nearly a year designing and creating a brand and developing specialty drinks that would appeal to our region, and not lose the fun and taste of the original boba created in Taiwan.” Stambaugh went on to add, “I had a lot of food service experience and wanted a creative outlet. I loved the customer service part of the industry, but I always felt stifled by the rigid, monotonous recipes I had to follow. Bill and I sat down and put together a plan. I knew I could bring the gelatin cakes and panna cotta to the region but knew it needed something else. To me, Boba tea is the perfect match!”
What is Boba tea? When someone says, ‘Boba tea’, they are referencing the traditionally cold-served beverage that has a tea base, a milk or fruit flavor, and edible pearls (the ‘boba’ in boba tea) inside a cup. Boba tea actually has many aliases which tend to often cause confusion. You may have heard one or many of these phrases used, but you should know they all mean the same thing: bubble tea, pearl tea, bubble milk tea, boba, boba fruit tea or tapioca tea. Boba tea has become increasingly popular over the past few years which is largely due to the new and unique consumption experience of having tasty edible pearls in a beverage.
At Bubbles N Sweets, you will find a vast array of boba-inspired goodies. Stambaugh stated, “Currently, we serve many different bubble tea drinks, including milk tea, fruit tea, juices, flavored lemonade, smoothies, slushes, and coffee (hot, iced, blended) in many flavors! We also make coffee jelly, gelatin cakes and panna cotta, all in-house.” Stambaugh went on to share what her personal favorite things are on the Bubbles N Sweets menu, “I frequently get asked what my favorite item on the menu is and to be honest this is the hardest question I get! My favorites change from day to day. But, my most common go-to drinks are Red Guava Lemonade with fruit jellies and bursting Bubbles, iced banana coffee with sweet cream, passion fruit green tea with fresh oranges and strawberries, and What Bubbles is Drinking (banana caramel milk tea with brown sugar tapioca boba that we cook in-house several times a day.) My favorite Sweets would be the Espresso Panna Cotta. It's a rich creamy dessert with a texture somewhere between mousse and flan. I add whipped cream and dark chocolate sauce, and it's so good!”
Stambaugh has plans of adding new items to the menu on a regular basis. Stambaugh shared, “We are actually planning an extension to add rolled ice cream and bring back our bubble waffles next month! We are also adding Greek yogurt parfaits. Follow us on Facebook for these updates.” So, if you are looking for a tasty unique way to feed that craving for a sweet treat… head on over to Bubbles N Sweets and hop on the boba train.