Nobibi Licensee Eyes Lake Forest for 2024 Expansion

Ying Xu will be opening a spot in Claremont this August while working to identify the perfect real estate for their next outpost further south.
Nobibi Licensee Eyes Lake Forest for 2024 Expansion
Photo: @nobibi_creamery on Instagram

Ying Xu, a licensee of the growing pan-Asian-inspired dessert shop Nobibi has already identified Orange County’s Lake Forest community as the site of their second location which is slated to open in the first quarter of 2024 – despite the fact that a lease has not yet been signed – following an opening in Claremont this August. 

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Both locations are part and parcel of 20 stores that founder Shirley Shinn plans to open over the next three years – many of which will be owned and operated by licensees like Ying Xu – including another four spread across Orange County; in Fountain Valley, Brea, Costa Mesa, and Fullerton.

Speaking to What Now Orange County’s sister site, What Now San Diego, Shinn explained that the Nobibi concept was “inspired by her travels across Asia,” and that she “wanted to bring the next-level desserts she tried in China and Taiwan back home to Southern California.”

Meanwhile, Ying Xu tells What Now Orange County that Nobibi’s niche, and ultimately what sets it apart from similar concepts, is that it brings both ice cream and boba under one roof and that they are “very excited” to introduce the dual dessert concept to the community.

Nobibi’s menu is an ambitious slate of “non-traditional” soft-serve ice creams, including the activated charcoal-infused Ninja, gold flake-encrusted D’Or, and Dream Cloud, which sees a dollop of soft serve floating atop a pillow of cotton candy.

Shinn said that the brand also offers healthier and more unexpected toppings.

“We like fresh fruit, freeze-dried fruit, we add brown sugar boba, or the popular Korean-style coffee mousse – a whipped coffee topping that’s like a thick foam and a nice contract to the sweet ice cream,” said Shinn. 

Aside from its soft serve menu, Nobibi also whips up a variety of Asian-inspired beverages such as flavored sodas, blended milk frappes, fresh fruit teas, milk teas with roasted boba, and boba drinks topped with Dalgona coffee.

In addition to its flagship location in Chino Hills, Nobibi currently has outposts that are operating in or coming soon to Eastvale, Claremont, and one out of state, in Beaverton, Oregon.

Drew Pittock

Drew Pittock is an independent contributor covering various markets across What Now's portfolio. He’s an avid record collector, amateur chef, compulsive estate sale shopper, and “Antiques Roadshow” binge watcher. Originally from Los Angeles, Drew now lives in El Paso, TX with his wife and their two cats.
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