The Tea2Go shop in Waco will be rebranded as Nobility Tea Co. as the owner of Texas-based Tea2Go seeks Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, local franchisee Ford Ferrer said.
New signs will go up soon at the shop at South Seventh Street and Cleveland Avenue, which specializes in fresh tea made from whole leaves, Ferrer said. They have a June 30 deadline to make the switch, he said.
Ferrer, who lives in Houston, said the Waco location has performed well since it opened three years ago and is popular with Baylor University students. He said the shop averages 175 to 225 tickets a day, and each ticket typically represents two or three customers.
Ferrer said he and several other Tea2Go franchisees have joined to create Nobility Tea Co. and will open Nobility-branded shops in several high-end malls in the Houston area previously occupied by Starbucks-affiliated Teavana shops. He said he and his wife, Cyndy, plan to open their second franchised location early next week in the Clear Lake area of Houston.
“Our store in Waco is doing fantastic, and the ownership and product line will remain exactly the same,” Ferrer said.
Sterling Tea, based in Rockwall, will supply leaves for the Nobility brand, he said.
He said the founding owners of Tea2Go offered franchisees the choice of continuing to operate under that name or going their separate ways.
“I would estimate that 15 percent decided to stay with Tea2Go, mostly in the Lubbock and Midland areas,” he said.
Tea2Go officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Sean Smith, who manages the Tea2Go in Waco, echoed Ferrer’s comments, saying the group that filed for bankruptcy “is a separate entity that is no longer involved in the ownership of this shop.”
He said the shop opened almost exactly three years ago, in March 2015, in a complex called Tinsley Square owned by developers Shane Turner and Todd Behringer.
Just around the corner, in a complex at 800 S. Seventh St. also owned by Turner and Behringer, a shop called 1102 Bubble Tea & Coffee opened in early January.
Ferrer said he was not pleased his landlord placed a competitor so close to his shop, “but I later learned that is an entirely different concept, and our sales actually have increased since it opened.”