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Alberta’s first bubble tea drive-thru opens in Red Deer County’s Gasoline Alley

Share-A-Tea held a grand opening ceremony on Saturday
Margarette Alonzo, co-owner of Share-A-Tea in Gasoline Alley, holds a pair of bubble teas at the drive-thru window. The store is home to Canada’s first bubble tea drive-thru. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Central Alberta is home to Alberta’s first bubble tea drive-thru.

A grand opening ceremony was held for the Share-A-Tea location in Gasoline Alley on Saturday morning.

“We’ve created a smooth flow of operations – that way it’s fast to get your drink and it’s still good,” said Margarette Alonzo, who owns the Gasoline Alley Share-A-Tea, as well as the Red Deer location, with her husband Raymund Estras.

The couple opened up their Red Deer location during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Gasoline Alley location was opened in June 2022, but the drive-thru hasn’t been open until now.

“We only had five flavours when we opened our first store,” she said, adding there are now about 100 options for customers.

Over the past few years, demand for bubble tea has grown significantly in the area, Alonzo said.

“Bubble tea is everywhere now,” she said.

“Still a lot of people don’t know exactly what it is. It’s still a drink like any other that you can get, but what makes it special is that it has tapioca pearls.

“I talk to a lot of locals and people who are passing by in Gasoline Alley. They’re looking for diversity (in food and drink options). If they see something new, they support it. It’s fun and enjoyable to try new things, like bubble tea.”

Alonzo is originally from the Philippines, where bubble tea is has been a popular option for many years.

“There’s bubble tea on like every corner – it’s everywhere you go,” she said.

“It’s just part of the culture. It didn’t originate in the Philippines, but we’re very close to Taiwan, (where it originated). It’s hot in the Philippines, so I think that’s a reason why it’s still very popular there.”

Red Deer County Coun. Lonny Kennett, who was at Saturday’s grand opening, said this business is “an example of central Alberta innovation.”

“Five years ago, who would’ve thought bubble tea would be available in a drive-thru? Now it’s a possibility and I’m sure it’ll be very successful,” Kennett said.

“As a county, we’ve made sure we don’t over-regulate people. We keep the red tape down, make it easy for a business to come out here and get their roots established.”

For more information on Share-A-Tea, visit

A grand opening ceremony was held at Share-A-Tea in Gasoline Alley on Saturday. The store is home to Canada’s first bubble tea drive-thru. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Sean McIntosh

About the Author: Sean McIntosh

Sean joined the Red Deer Advocate team in the summer of 2017. Originally from Ontario, he worked in a small town of 2,000 in Saskatchewan for seven months before coming to Central Alberta.
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