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The Melt Bistro offers up bubble tea

What started as a conversation over a meal has now resulted in the opening of Picayune’s newest place to get lunch and a unique drink called bubble tea, The Melt Bistro.

Josh Houeye and his business partner Megan Hearn were enjoying a meal at a Vietnamese restaurant three years ago when he turned to Hearn and asked if she would be interested in selling bubble tea at local events.

The couple started selling the tea out of tents at the Street Festival and other area fairs until the pandemic led to the cancellation of many public events. The lack of places to sell their product resulted in the couple finding the Renaissance Community Loan Fund, who helped kick off the new business. Houeye said the non profit organization was instrumental in helping them start the business financially.

For the uninitiated, bubble tea, also known as Boba, is made with Tapioca balls. Bubble Tea can be ordered with a variety of tea flavors, have milk added to it and include various toppings, which are mixed together and shaken in a cocktail shaker to create the bubbles.

At The Melt Bistro, Bubble Tea Smoothies are also offered; many include names that play on popular sayings such as Tropic Like It’s Hot, Melon Dolla Dreams and Livin’ La Vida Mocha.

Also on the menu, patrons will find a selection of sandwiches made with various kinds of cheeses. For a sweet treat Blue Bell ice cream can be served in a Hong Kong bubble waffle. Hearn said that is where the name of the business came from, since cheese and ice cream melts.

The Melt Bistro currently employs seven people and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday the business is open until 11 p.m.

Plans are underway to expand the dining area and add more kitchen space to accommodate two more sandwich presses and create a patio in front of the business for outdoor dining, Houeye said.

Hearn said she would like to add dinner fondue to the menu in the near future.

A grand opening of the business will be held the day of the Civic Women’s Club annual Christmas parade, Dec. 7.

The business is located at 119 Highway 1 N., across the street from the Post Office and can be reached by calling 769-242-2155.