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A local married couple who has operated Mojo Thai and Sushi Bar in the Galleria Shoppes at Vanderbilt for more than six years recently launched a second business, Momo Tea Bar, in the same North Naples retail center.  

Sitthiphorn “Joe” Sunthi and Tangmo “Mo” Maneerat have enjoyed some major life changes since the successful launch of their first restaurant in January 2018. The Thailand natives, who met in Naples, bought a new home in North Naples and now have two children, ages 5 and 2. Their latest family addition is a new shop offering boba tea, soft-serve ice cream and desserts.  

The tea bar was Sunthi’s idea because he wasn’t satisfied with the flavor of existing boba tea shops in the area.   

Momo Tea Bar in North Naples“We love to drink boba tea. In Naples, they don’t have a boba tea place that we love with a taste that we like,” he said.

They perfected recipes that reminded them of the classic boba tea they had in Taiwan, where the drink originated. “The taste and the product from Taiwan are the best,” Sunthi said, noting that what he has sampled in the United States is not the same.  

Boba tea, often called bubble tea, is a flavorful milk and tea drink containing chewy tapioca pearls at the bottom of the cup. Momo’s best sellers are made with brown sugar milk. Its other popular flavors include chocolate malt, matcha green tea creème bruûleée

“We worked together on the recipe. We tasted every cup and came up with our own recipe,” Maneerat said.  

Momo Tea Bar in North NaplesThe Fresh Fruit Tea with strawberries, kiwi, oranges and chia seeds is Maneerat’s favorite menu item at Momo. “It’s refreshing. We have a good one with real fruit in it,” she said.  

Other fruit tea varieties include coconut, lime, lychee and passion fruit. Additional menu items include frappes, lattes and matcha and ube ice cream.   

Momo Tea Bar in North NaplesWhen the couple saw a new building under construction near their restaurant in the Shoppes at Vanderbilt, they acquired the last unit in the building. “It’s close to Mojo. I can run both places,” Sunthi said.  

The new business had a soft opening April 8 in the new outparcel building on the corner of Airport-Pulling Road and Galleria Drive, just north of Vanderbilt Beach Road. The freestanding building also is home to five other local businesses: Casanova Art & Fashion, CozyBox home decor store, Crave Cookies, Emily Brady Interiors and Statement Watches and Jewelry.  

Momo Tea Bar in North NaplesMomo still plans to add desserts, such as cake to its menu and launch its website before its grand opening near the end of May.  

Momo Tea Bar, 2363 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Suite 905, is open 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It’s closed Sundays. 

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