Cha Community: Building Connections Through Boba Tea and Dumplings

Cha Community, a Central Texas business specializing in premium boba tea and pan-fried dumplings, has found success in bridging cultures and creating connections among local residents. Founded by Asian American entrepreneurs Devin Li and Jaja, Cha Community was inspired by their Chinese and Taiwanese immigrant backgrounds and their desire to share their favorite food and drinks with the local community.

Established in 2017, Cha Community’s journey began with a boba tea pop-up idea submitted to the Waco Downtown Farmer’s Market. After a year of waiting, the idea was accepted, and the pop-up launched on June 16, 2018, in a small tent at the market. The business saw steady growth and eventually launched a mobile boba tea truck in downtown Waco in summer 2019.

Cha Community has made a name for itself by offering authentic Chinese and Taiwanese food and beverages, including popular items like the Milky Way Thai Tea and the Strawberry Matcha Latte. The company also serves traditional Taiwanese cold noodles and chickpea curry rice at its Temple location.

In addition to its menu, Cha Community has focused on fostering a sense of community by hosting events such as Board Game and Boba Nights and Dumpling Night Workshops. These events were temporarily halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Cha Community continued to expand, opening its first storefront in downtown Waco in spring 2020 and a second storefront in downtown Temple, Texas, in March 2022.

The company’s dedication to creating community and promoting diversity has not gone unnoticed. In summer 2021, co-owner Devin Li and the small business were recognized as Forbes Next 1000 Honorees, an award given to “bold and inspiring entrepreneurs who are redefining what it means to run a business today.”

Customers have praised Cha Community for its welcoming atmosphere, quality food and beverages, and commitment to community building. One reviewer, Allen A., recommends the Milky Way boba tea and commends Cha Community as “literally the best,” adding that it’s “a place you can come and sit, chat, work, or just enjoy your time.”

As Cha Community continues to grow, its mission of bridging cultures and creating community through premium boba tea and handcrafted dumplings remains at the forefront of its operations.

Cha Community has established three thriving locations, each offering a unique experience for customers. The flagship store in Downtown Waco, located at 1001 Franklin Avenue, is open Monday through Friday from 9:30am to 8pm, with boba service starting at 11am on weekdays. On weekends, the store is open from 11am to 8pm. The Waco location also offers dumpling and food service daily from 11am to 8pm, with Doordash Delivery available via Square.

Their Dumpling & Boba Tea Trucks can be found at the Waco Downtown Farmer’s Market on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm. This mobile branch, stationed at 500 Washington Avenue, brings the Cha Community experience to an open-air setting, attracting customers with delicious dumplings and boba tea offerings.

The third location, nestled in the heart of Downtown Temple at 7 North Main Street, offers a relaxing space for patrons to enjoy Cha Community’s signature drinks and snacks. Open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 7pm, with boba service beginning at 11am, and Sundays from 12pm to 6pm, this location is a welcome addition to the Temple community.

Images by Cha Community