Despite closure risk, Tealive staff optimistic on keeping jobs

Loob Holding, which has been slapped with a court injunction on its Tealive operations, manages several other food chains in Malaysia. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: Some employees under Tealive operator Loob Holding Sdn Bhd say they remain optimistic about keeping their jobs despite a court injunction on the local bubble milk tea chain.

Two staff members interviewed by FMT said they believed the company would transfer them to other food businesses if it had to adhere to the order.

The Tealive brand was created by Loob Holding after it exited a franchise agreement with La Kaffa International Ltd, the owner of Chatime, a popular bubble milk tea brand from Taiwan, last year.

Loob was formerly a Chatime franchise holder in Malaysia.

Last Thursday, the Court of Appeal granted an injunction filed by La Kaffa against Loob Holding carrying out a similar business as the Taiwanese chain.

An outlet supervisor said he believed that staff like him might be diverted to Loob Holding’s food chain restaurants.

“They may even rebrand some Tealive drinks that were in dispute because of the similarity with Chatime,” he added.

A barista at one of Tealive’s outlets in the Klang Valley said they had not received any notice to stop working.

“Yes, we read the news about the court case. But the headquarters have not told us to close, up to today,” he said.

According to Loob Holding’s website, the eight-year-old local company also managed several food chains, including Tino’s Pizza, Spanish yoghurt brand Ilaollao and Gindaco which sells Japanese squid balls.

Loob Holdings had said it would file an application to halt the injunction order, and seek leave to appeal to the Federal Court.

The company also said the status quo should remain pending disposal of La Kaffa’s lawsuit.

Meanwhile, consumers interviewed by FMT said they could always opt for other bubble milk tea brands if Tealive had to close down due to the court order.

An accountant who wanted to be known as Jeffrey said he would go back to buying Chatime’s smoothies.

“Chatime still serves the ice blended cocoa with cookies and strawberry pudding which is my favourite. No problem for me if there is no Tealive,” he said.

Court bursts Loob Holding’s bubble with injunction