Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s get Boba!’
First-generation Asian-American owner, Ronny Real, opened Moshi Moshi Boba Cafe on March 5, 2020, marking this March as their one-year anniversary. The boba cafe is located on 2418 Spring Garden Street, around the corner from UNCG campus.
Moshi Moshi is a Japanese saying for ‘hello’, greeting you before you step foot inside the cafe. Upon first arriving with another journalist, Ian McDowell, I was instantly infatuated by the beautiful and modern Japanese decor that isn’t common in Greensboro.
Ronny’s wife, Mary Le, was sitting on a stool embroidering flowers to later be framed inside the cafe. Mary Le is the designer and creative artist behind Moshi Moshi; alongside her husband, the two make a dynamic duo.
The couple met at the Greensboro Icehouse on August 7th, 2009, and recently said their “I do’s” in the beginning of January 2021.
“It wasn’t love at first sight. I skated around her, but at that point I couldn’t stop, like I actually couldn’t stop, so technically I skated and fell for her,” Ronny admitted alone with the biggest smile on his face.
Ronny is Cambodian-American, originally from San Jose, California until his family moved to Greensboro, North Carolina at the age of 5. His parents fled from Cambodia to Thailand and ended in the United States as refugees. Mary Le is Vietnamese-American, born local in Greensboro, North Carolina.
“I saw my parents work hard all day to provide for us and supported us so that we didn’t have to struggle like they did,” said Ronny, “I followed my dreams of owning my own business so they would be proud of me.”
“I may own Moshi Moshi, but Moshi isn’t me alone,” said Ronny, “we are a team, and we are a family here. I couldn’t operate without them.”
“I want to thank David and Chastity for everything they do, and for how hard they work. I want them to know how much they are appreciated,” Ronny adds.
At that moment, David Nguyen, a fellow employee and student at UNCG brings out their specialty drink, the Red Cosmo.
Ronny goes on to say, “I’m currently 28, close to 30, and I’ve always loved boba, but this is my favorite drink, no other boba shop in the area has anything like it.”
David goes on to explain, “It is blended dragon fruit, and comes with a marble whip around the cup to create the illusion of cosmos. Topped off with a milk cap, which is a thick, salty milk foam on top.”
David is also a first-generation Vietnamese-American, who is a senior marketing major at UNCG. He has been with Moshi Moshi before it opened up and has effortlessly continued to upgrade and promote the boba cafe out of love for his longtime friend Ronny.
“My side hustles are choreography, both dancing and instructing, and videography,” David continues, “I do videography for Moshi Moshi, it’s another way for me to incorporate my artistic visions for good.”
Shortly after the opening of Moshi Moshi, COVID-19 outbreaks hit and the cafe had to temporarily close. However, this did not discourage the team, but rather gave them extra time to renovate the inside and upgrade the menu. A variety of fruit teas and waffle bowls were added, including my personal favorite, the Matcha Love bowl.
“The Matcha Love bowl consists of matcha ice cream paired with freshly sliced strawberries, red beans, almond shavings, matcha sticks, and whip cream…because who doesn’t love whip cream?” David goes on to further explain, “It is all served on top of a bubble waffle, which is based out of Hong Kong, China. It’s delicate airy inside, with a thin crunchie surface that makes it popular among customers.”
As Ronny, David, Ian, and I are all sitting around chatting, Ronny speaks proudly about how most of the staff of Moshi Moshi are first-generation Asian-Americans working together to see each other succeed in their life goals.
“I want to incorporate all of our cultures here, that’s what makes us unique, whether that’s in different fruit tea drinks, boba drinks, or freshly made fish waffle cakes stuffed with mozzarella, it’s about uniting and well — having delicious sweets obviously!” Ronny ends with, “We are constantly evolving, but being able to see our customers come in with friends, or on a date, or even by themselves enjoying their time is rewarding in it of itself, and that’s why I do it.”