Tuesday, May 24th, Sibling business partners Scott and Tiffany Duong invited The WPG Magazine to explore The Alley. Obviously, it’s not an actual alley… it’s a bubble tea café located at 660 Sterling Lyon Parkway, and it’s the first Winnipeg location of the internationally-renowned franchise. While there are a number of locations in major cities across Canada, this is Manitoba’s first look at this iconic organization.
Scott Duong, a local Winnipeg boy, gave me an exclusive tour of the location and introduced me to the brand for the first time. I don’t want to drop any spoilers, but… I’m now a fan. It helps that I’m not a coffee person, so I drink tea like it’s going out of style!
The Alley got its start in an actual alley in Taiwan, hence the name, and has since grown into a global sensation. The founder recognized that all the best-hidden gems were found in the alleyways, so they decided to hide their first gem there. The rest, as they say, is history.
Followers of the brand are known as “deer fans”, a reference to the company’s logo, and The Alley leans into the whole deer thing pretty hard. Hand drawn by the company’s founder, the stag head has become intrinsically linked with its beverages.
While there, I was fortunate enough to try several of their signature beverages, and while they were all quite delicious, the Royal No. 9 Milk Tea and the Deerioca Fever were my two favourites! They have several different styles of drinks, including the “Crunchy Milk Tea” series that I highly recommend you try.
The aesthetic is minimalistic, but still welcoming, which is a hard line to walk. Scott told me, “We want this to be more of a café vibe, where people like to be here, they like to stay here and kinda have a good time instead of just coming and leaving with their drink.” Offering WiFi is a no-brainer, and he was also quick to point out that there are power receptacles all along the wall next to each table, for those who want to work for longer periods on a laptop or what have you.
The seats are all comfortable, which I only feel the need to point out because many cafés have opted for the less comfortable furnishings in an effort to encourage turnover. The Alley feels like a place I could hang out drinking teas for hours, and I might just do that. If you see me there, say hi!
As far as the quality of the drinks goes, The Alley uses hand-picked tea leaves, makes their own sugar cane syrup in-house, and makes the tapioca (which they call “Deerioca”) from scratch. “We don’t just care about the aesthetics, but also the quality of our drinks,” says Scott. “I feel like the quality, for us, is one of the most important things, along with customer service as well.”
Check out the accompanying video to have a look at the interior of what could be your new favourite café in town. Also, be sure to check out their website to see more of what you can expect on your first visit.
If you’re reading this before May 28th, 2022, then check out the press release below to see how you can get yourself a free beverage from this iconic tea house!
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release May 17th, 2022
The Alley launches its first location in Winnipeg by giving away 100 FREE drinks plus 15% off *
[Winnipeg, MB, May 17th, 2022] – The Alley is a global phenomenon renowned for its high-quality tea and beverage aesthetics. The Alley is set to open its first location in Winnipeg, the grand opening is set for May 28th & 29th weekend.
The Alley – the “OG” of brown sugar tapioca, has fancy options to their beloved Deerioca Series. Deerioca’s – a cute play on the brand’s deer image and the word tapioca – are soft and chewy pearls slow-cooked in brown sugar lava for two hours. Pairing options include whole milk, organic soymilk, Japanese matcha for a bittersweet symphony, and puff custard for those with a sweet tooth.
Deerioca Fever – delicious brown sugar tapioca served with fresh milk/soy milk, each swirl will give you a unique taste and texture from start to finish (Recommended for its first timer)
Deerioca Puff – Warm brown sugar tapioca on the bottom with thick custard and puffy cream on top for a full of flavour
Other fan-favourites include the Royal No. 9 Milk Tea, pre-roasted with fresh blueberries for its signature multi-layer aroma and depth. The scrumptious Crunchy Milk Tea Series is distinctively topped with French butter crisps for an unparalleled textural sensation to tickle your palette and comes in Crunchy Tiramisu, Crunchy Brown Sugar, Crunchy Cocoa, and Crunchy Strawberry Milk Tea flavours.
The Alley Winnipeg welcomes deer fans to an entirely new minimalistic, contemporary-designed store concept. Certain elements will continue to highlight the brand’s DNA including the hand-drawn deer logo decal adorning the wall with gold accents.
To celebrate its first location in Winnipeg, The Alley will be offering 10% off on all beverages during the soft opening from May 25th – 27th. During the grand opening weekend – May 28th & May 29th – 100 free drinks will be given out at noon on both days; in addition, 15% off will be offered on all the beverages.
Seasons of Tuxedo
Unit 7 – 660 Sterling Lyon Parkway
Winnipeg, MB R3P 1E9
May 25th – 27th 10% OFF on all beverages
May 28th & May 29th 100 FREE DRINKS (Starting at Noon) on both days + 15% OFF on all beverages
Instagram @TheAlley.ca | Facebook @TheAlleyCanada | TikTok @TheAlley.ca
#TheAlleyCanada #UpMyAlley #The Alley
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About The Alley
Originally founded in Taiwan, The Alley is recognized for its selection of premium tea ingredients and its artisanship in beverage aesthetics. Its signatures include Royal No. 9 (Black tea pre-roasted with blueberries) and Deerioca series – the “OG” of brown sugar tapioca pearls that go through a two-hour slow-cooking process for its unparalleled chewiness. The brand’s iconic deer symbol is a mystical, intelligent yet mighty animal. Coincidentally, deer rhymes with “dear” hence The Alley fans are called “deer fans.” While The Alley can be found all across Asia, Europe and the United States, Canada remains the first overseas expansion for the brand and now has over 28 stores spanning from Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa, to Toronto. Toronto is also home to the very first concept store – The Alley Hub – a collaborative co-working space that exclusively serves The Alley blend coffee. For more information, visit the-alley.ca or Instagram @TheAlley.ca.