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Shaheer Oral History Interview
Shaheer, 23, and his younger brother, Saqib, 18, conceived the idea of PyoChai during the pandemic. Saqib, a high school student, realized that most of his peers would need to Uber to their closest bubble tea joint or Uber Eats because there were no student-friendly cafes near them. That’s when the two young brothers came up with the idea for a South Asian-inspired bubble tea cafe.
The brothers conceived the entire menu on their own, drawing inspiration for their flavors from their Nepali-Pakistani background, and designing a cafe space with strong South Asian motifs. From Mango Lassi bubble tea to Rooh Afza bubble tea to Malai Kulfi and Falooda Kulfi Bubble tea, they have it all.
PyoChai is only 1.5 years old, and having opened during the pandemic and being young, new business owners, they did face many issues with supply, and even some community resistance to the idea of a South Asian storefront in their predominantly white neighborhood. However, they persevered and their business is on its way to opening its second location.
Type: Oral History
Source: Archival Creators Fellowship Program
Creator: Sanjana Nigam
Collection: Sanjana Nigam Fellowship Project
Item History: 2022-07-01 (created); 2022-07-06 (modified)
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