POP into Eden’s Bubble Tea

A deeper dive into the businesses that make up Texarkana


Allyson Arnold

Eden Bubble Tea is located on Richmond Rd and in Central Mall. They were Texarkana’s first introduction to bubble tea.

Story by Ashley Davis, Staff Writer

Fruity flavored popping bubbles, warm tapioca and various tea flavors line the counters of Eden Bubble Tea. The family owned business provides food from a Potato Patch and Eden Bubble Tea menu. Many customers come for the milk tea, yogurt drinks, smoothies and milkshakes, but they stay for the handcrafted sushi and pan fried dumplings.

Anna and William Gabriel created Eden in 2013 after they’d visited a bubble tea shop in Dallas every Sunday because it was their day off from serving. 

“We went there every Sunday for a year. We would sit in the bubble tea shop for hours just to talk since we were newly married,” Anna Gabriel said. “When we ran out of things to talk about, we would talk about how the place had not changed in a whole year.” 

The young couple began thinking of ways they could alter their favorite bubble tea shop, as if it was theirs. 

“We would say ‘if we worked here I would clean that and that.’ In between jokes, I told him we should open a bubble tea shop in Texarkana,” Gabriel said.

Texarkana never had bubble tea available before Eden Bubble Tea was created, leaving Anna and William concerned for the future.

The biggest challenge was that nobody in town knew what bubble tea was. We introduced it to the town one person at a time.

— Anna Gabriel

“That day in Dallas, William told me he wasn’t sure if American people would like this, since the drink style is traditionally Asian. I told him that I wasn’t Asian and loved it, so I bet everyone will love it as well,” Gabriel said. “So William got up and bought 20 bubble teas to bring to Texarkana. We went knocking on our friends’ doors asking them if they liked the taste of the teas.” 

At 22 and 23 years old and no prior knowledge of business, many of the places they called for a lease would not take them seriously. They faced many struggles up the road.

“They called us kids,” Gabriel said. “With the first investment of finding a place, we had to borrow money because we really underestimated the cost. Yet the biggest challenge was that nobody in town knew what bubble tea was. We introduced it to the town one person at a time. That’s why we still do free samples because that’s how we started.”

She meets hundreds of people everyday, always greeting them with a friendly attitude and a smile. No matter how they treat her, she keeps her composure because she wants to leave a good impression.

“I love getting to meet people and be a part of a smile to their life even if it’s just one bit,” Gabriel said. “It was a goal for me that no matter how they came in, if they came in contact with me, they would leave with a smile.”