Tea Rex Boba, new bubble tea shop, opens in downtown Mission

Tea Rex Boba Owner Clay Griggs

Clay Griggs, above, is one of downtown Mission's newest tenants. Griggs opened Tea Rex Boba at 5832 Johnson Drive in September, and says he's received a warm welcome from the community.

Clay Griggs always knew he wanted to own a business and had long toyed with the idea of a restaurant or coffee shop.

Tea Rex Boba shop wall
Tea Rex Boba features an art wall with drawings created by customers. Owner Clay Griggs has crayons and paper for children to use. Above is a drawing of a tyrannosaurus drinking boba.

Then he realized a need in the Mission area: boba, or bubble tea, a tea-based drink with either tapioca pearls or popping boba made from juice. Coupled with Mission’s small town feel — and the desire for a family business his children could take over — Griggs said he believed his Tea Rex Boba concept was the perfect fit for the space at 5832 Johnson Drive.

“One of the things that I love about Mission: it’s a small, tiny town within the metropolis of Kansas City,” Griggs said. “That’s one of the most beautiful and unique things about it, it’s still mom and pop surrounded by everything corporate.”

Griggs said he landed on Tea Rex Boba because he wanted the product to be represented in — and recognizable by — the name of the shop. The corresponding dinosaur theme came naturally with the name, he said.

The shop opened near Sushi Karma on Sept. 15, Griggs said, and customers already have a running list of favorites. Number one on the list is the “mangolodon,” which is a mango and passion fruit mix with mango and passion fruit popping boba.

Griggs said the “Thai-rannosaurus tea rex” is another customer favorite, which is a Thai tea with tapioca pearls. The menu also features milk teas, small snacks and non-dairy alternatives for drinks.

After just two months in business, Griggs said he’s grateful to the Mission community for accepting Tea Rex Bob so quickly.

“I have been welcomed by everybody,” Griggs said. “I feel so humbled by it, because I had no idea that everybody was going to be like this.”