By Sheba Antony
What’s the best thing that comes with something new? A good deal. Both North Penguin and Jupioca are starting off their business ventures in Flatbush with buy-one-get-one-free deals. If that’s not enough to spike some curiosity, here’s The Excelsior insight on what brought these businesses just outside campus gates and what they have to offer.
Wendy Chen, a cashier at North Penguin and friend to the owner, explained what brought this unique business to the heart of Flatbush: “It is [a business run by] friends who look forward to the new sweets coming out each and every year. They wanted to be a part of a business for teenagers who [seek] to find more and more sweets.” North Penguin also has one other location in Brooklyn and two in Queens, all chosen near schools to cater toward the younger demographic.
BC sophomore Dan Kwon has yet to try to North Penguin’s crepes but was enthusiastic about the restaurant’s other items. He said, “It’s awesome. Super affordable bubble teas and other drinks, and a lot of fusion Asian ice cream snacks there.”
North Penguin plans to add more menu items, such as sweet egg cakes, over time. It is eager to please its customers and keep the business growing.
The grand opening of Jupioca on 19 Hillel Pl was just this past week, marking this the fifth location for the Jupioca chain. The business is owned by one ambitious man who started Jupioca in a food truck. BC senior and Jupioca employee Rose Yao, told The Excelsior about Jupioca’s success so far and plans for the Flatbush location. “[They] picked this location because of Brooklyn College! Think of it as a symbiotic relationship,” she said.
As they expected, Jupioca has found that typical customers so far are Brooklyn College students. But they are also patronized by students from Midwood High School and people who work in the area. What does Jupioca expect BC students to like? “Brooklyn College is so diverse, so we expect all drinks to have equal popularity! However our peanut butter and banana ‘quick meal’ is sure to be a hit for those who don’t enough time for solid breakfast or lunch,” said Yao. “Also, the popcorn chicken is spectacular, from what our customers say. It takes a little time to make it, since we use fresh chicken and batter, but it’s worth the wait” Jupioca hopes to add new menu items in the future based on suggestions from customers on new flavors and products. It also plans to offer hot beverages in the winter.
During the first three days Jupioca was open on Hillel, it had a buy-one-get-one free special on bubble teas and smoothies. Their ongoing deal is a rewards punch card that offers a free eighth drink. There may be a student discount in the future as well.
Of the best-selling items in the other locations, Yao said, “The bubble tea is a classic, but we have a great selection of fruit smoothies that are very popular during the summer because they’re ice cold and super fruity. Older customers prefer the juices more, since they offer a lot of health benefits.”
Most customers seem pleased with their Jupioca items, though some have mixed feelings. Brooklyn College junior Marybeth Babu says, “I went with a group of friends and we all found that the milk tea bubble teas were very bitter and tasted weird. But the green tea/fruit ones were really good, and I would go back for those again.”