By Amanda Frost
It had been raining all morning but walking across campus to the beach chair filled courtyard buzzing with K-Pop music to ‘destination point’, The Bubble Lab, was definitely worth it. I sat down with my delicious vegan, gluten free, and dairy free mixed berry frozen yoghurt and a peach bubble tea with mango jelly, to chat to Jason Giancono, 2015 Curtin Student Guild President, and Darren Carter, Commercial Manager, from the Guild office. Like many students, I want to know the who, what, when, where, how and why frozen yoghurt; because if you were at Curtin University for the Guild elections in 2014, you would know that fronting Illuminate’s campaign were hundreds of ‘froyo’ yers. It was pretty amusing at the time and a great election grab, but is The Bubble Lab proving itself?
The idea first began buzzing around the Guild office “One of our staff members came to campus with a bubble tea and I said, ‘What’s that?’” Darren explains, “I’d seen the stores before but it never really appealed to me and I thought I’d give it a whirl. I remember it was a peach black tea with rainbow jelly, and I was like, this is amazing, I need to know more about this. So we went to all the little bubble tea places around Bentley and the adjoining suburbs, and tried them all out and I was hooked – I thought, this has got to be on campus.”
Some time later Illuminate had the genius idea to have froyo as one of their election promises because they wanted to
expand the options to students. Jason explains, “I had a look after the first week at the analytics on the website and it was the most clicked on policy. So we were like ok, we’ve gotta print a hundred more of those posters and just put them everywhere”. Once elected, the two ideas eventually amalgamated to become The Bubble Lab. “We didn’t know how we were going to do it or where we were going to put it. So we came in and I went and talked to [Darren], and I was like, ‘Daz, where are we putting froyo?’”
The Bubble Lab project was based solely on gut instinct: no student was ambushed with a survey at Henderson Court. Darren’s market research was observing the student populace, “We saw the number of people going around with these big fat straws in these clear cups; we knew that it was something that was going to be pretty popular around here.”
The Bubble Lab is convenience plus with the easy to use ‘order online’ function on their Facebook page. “We’ve never done mobile ordering for anywhere on campus before, so it was kind of like a test to see how it would go and it’s just been phenomenal.” Darren beams, “When we rst started The Bubble Lab our ice machine could not keep up!”
The Bubble Lab is a friendly and vibrant accessory to the courtyard which is the perfect chill out zone. The mango jelly catches in my straw blocking the liquid and I place the cup back down pretending nothing happened, and casually wrap up with the most important question: what is their favourite?
Darren: “I am a big fan of the sodas, it’s a bubble tea but it’s fizzy. So we use the fruit tea base – you can’t do it with the milk tea because that would be really weird – with the jellies and stuff in it but it’s zzy and it’s just so refreshing…The mojito [mocktail] is another one of my favourites and we actually put real mint in it as well.”
Jason: “Darren doesn’t like it when I do this, but I’ll get the froyo with no toppings and then go into The Spot and buy a bunch of lollies and put them in.” Gummy lollies too? I ask. “Everything.” But they freeze! Darren and I exclaim. “I tried skittles once and it was really bad…don’t do it.”
LOCATED: near the Tav in the 106 courtyard VERDICT: It is safe to say The Bubble Lab is a solid yes