Vivian Lai says working with husband will be 'difficult' at opening of her 2nd bubble tea outlet

PHOTO: The Straits Times file, Instagram/Veravivian

Actress, host, and bubble tea chain boss Vivian Lai opened her second Teabrary outlet on Thursday, with a bevy of her celebrities turning up in support of their friend at the shop's opening last Thursday (Dec 17).

The latest outlet, called Teabar by Teabrary, is a concept store is located at Holland Village's Taste Gourmet Market. The chain is touted to be the first in Singapore to introduce "nitro bubble tea" to the island's bubble tea-mad population, and the first branch is located at Esplanade Xchange.

Some famous faces who happily posed for photos with the lady boss at her new outlet included Zoe Tay, Romeo Tan, Kym Ng, Li Nanxing and Dasmond Koh.

One person who was present that didn't want any of the attention however, was Lai's husband, Alain Ong. He declined reporters' requests for an interview.

Ong was previously CEO of Pokka International and deputy group CEO of Pokka Corporation (Singapore). Last year, the Japanese beverage giant accused Ong of being part of a conspiracy that caused the company $10 million in losses and filed a suit against him.

PHOTO: The Straits Times file

Ong later issued a statement through his lawyer, stating that he was not the target of investigations. Lai also previously shared with reporters then about how the media attention over the case had disrupted her family life.

"No matter what happens, our family of four will stay united and weather this difficult period," said the host in an emotional interview.

Lai looked decidedly chirpier during the opening of her outlet, and even answered questions from reporters about Ong. She shared that her husband is currently working as a consultant and is also involved in a business that deals with international trade, Lianhe Wanbao reported.

When asked if she would consider going into business with Ong, she laughed, saying: "I think it's difficult for a husband and wife to work together, there will be conflict. I told him, if we do business together, neither of us will have a good time. He wants an easier life, so that was that."

However, she shared that her husband thinks she meddles too much in the business.

"I'm always finding something to do and I like to do it myself. He's been involved in big companies so he always wonders why I don't leave the small matters to my staff as things might be more efficient," said Lai.

Lai also revealed that a third branch of Teabrary is in the works, and it will specialise in Korean sandwiches and tea.

candicecai@asiaone.com