Finding comfort in bubble tea and friendship is one of the kick-starters of a local Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) business.
Petite Cha is a bubble tea business which specialises in selling bubble tea packages.
Bubble tea is a Taiwanese tea-based drink with chewy tapioca balls at the bottom.
New Plymouth Girls' High School students Tanya Haseltine (18) and Moana Matariki (18) started the business last year when they were in an enterprise class.
"Our teacher encouraged us to take part in YES.
"The school is very supportive. Everyone loved the idea and our products helped to lift the mood during last year's exam season," Tanya says.
She says she is thankful to Jeff Poole.
"He is Petite Cha's mentor and we couldn't have achieved what we have without his help."
Moana and Tanya met Jeff at a YES Kickstart Day where students pitched their ideas to local businesses.
"Jeff shared our same interest in bubble tea. We asked him to be our mentor and we were so excited when he said yes."
Jeff gave advice to Tanya and Moana on how to start the business, how to deal with issues that may arise and marketing.
"He has always been there to provide us with advice when we needed it," Tanya says.
Last year the business made it to the Taranaki regional finals.
"We were very surprised. We started this business off as just a project making tea that we love and so you could imagine how ecstatic but also very nervous we were to have been told we made it into regionals.
"It was a scary but overall great experience to pitch in front judges, teachers, friends and family."
This year Tanya is running the business independently.
"Moana has other school commitments but she still helps where she can."
She says the kickstart to the business was her and Moana's love of bubble tea, and the comfort it gave during a stressful time.
"In 2018, I moved to New Zealand from Cambodia. It was a huge transition. I found inviting friends over for bubble tea and having fun helped Moana and I get through stressful situations."
Tanya says she wants to give the same comfort to the community.
"At Petite Cha, we want to tackle mental health and find a way to provide comfort to the community when they are going through things."
Petite Cha has a range of care packages which includes three flavours of tea suited to what the customer may need.
The also sell a single kit with a cup, straw and all the ingredients and materials to make the tea.
"In our study session package we have butterfly pea tea, which boosts the immune system and metabolism and also reduces stress and anxiety.
"We also can take requests from the customer and create a package best suited to them."
She say Petite Cha packaging is eco-friendly.
"It can be reused and the packaging is made out of recycled materials. Sustainable products are the way of the future and we want every product to be positive and have a positive effect."
Tanya says she encourages other students to take part in the scheme.
"It is a great learning experience. There are different challenges which push you to explore different options and there are different programmes you can attend. It is really beneficial.
"One of the great things about YES is there is so much help available."
■ To purchase a single kit or a package, visit petitecha.mystorbie.com