Farewell Sweet Booth

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Farewell Sweet Booth! 告別甜甜屋! messages from the community

Thank you Calvin and Hetty! After 28 years dedicated to crafting the freshest drinks and desserts from scratch, Oakland Chinatown’s beloved Sweet Booth is closing. We’ve collected memories and messages of gratitude to make sure you know you are loved and appreciated. We’re so grateful for your contributions to the Oakland Chinatown community. Wishing you a wonderful retirement! Cut Fruit Collective

多謝 Calvin & Hetty! 您服務Oakland 28年, 做喜歡的飲料和甜點, 令唐人街多姿多彩和朋友相聚好的地方. 我們 收集了美好的回憶和信息,讓您知道大家對您 的愛戴和讚賞。我們非常感謝您對奧克蘭唐人 街社區的貢獻。退休快樂! 切果集

When I was a kid, I would go with my parents to get dim sum at Peony and after my dad would always buy a Mango Smoothie Boba for us. I remember sitting down and watching Calvin peel the mangos right in front of us and my dad and I would sit inside drinking it while we waited for my mom to come back from getting groceries. Your little boba shop was such a big part of my childhood. I turn 23 next month and I’m sad to see it close down because it feels like I’m saying goodbye to my childhood too. But I thank you both for your hard work over the years. I hope you both enjoy retirement! Feon Lai Thank you Sweet Booth and Calvin for always putting care and attention to your drinks! I appreciate the fresh fruit and ingredients. My favorite of their drinks is the Almond Smoothie with real almonds blended in and topped with grass jelly. It brings me so much joy every time I drink it. Calvin, you will be missed! Daphne

As a kid, I would go to the Sweet Booth with my grandparents after getting picked up from Lincoln Elementary. It formed my experience and love for ice cream. I tried so many flavors there for the first time. Sweet Booth gave me so many memories with my grandparents and friends after school. You will be missed! Brenda My parents made their income selling items at the Chinatown street fairs and as a kid, I remember being out from sunrise to sunset. A mango smoothie from the sweet booth would always be a small luxury at the end of an exhausting work day, and I always recalled being excited every time I saw that scoop of mango ice cream being placed in the blender. I moved out of the Bay for a bit, but this was one of the first places I brought my friends to when I returned! Thank you for the wonderful memories <3 L

The Sweet Booth is one of my favorite Oakland spots. I’ve been coming here for nearly 20 years - from the days of being a college kid to now bringing my own kid. Thank you, Calvin and Hetty, for making my life so much more sweet. You and your watermelon juice (50% sweet with boba!) will be missed! Jill Kunishima I remember hanging out in Oakland Chinatown and going to the Sweet Booth after school. I always enjoyed their ice cream and the friendly customer service. Thank you Calvin & Hetty for serving the community. Wishing you both a happy retirement! Tracy P Thank you for always being there at the plaza!! You were my go-to spot for a quick dessert during middle and high school. Annie

I loved visiting Sweet Booth for boba and ice cream growing up in Oakland Chinatown. Such a happy place to visit when I was a kid. Thank you for the memories, Sweet Booth! Amy I’ve been going to Sweet booth since I was in elementary school and I’m 33 now. I bring all my friends there and now even the next generation of kids in my family. Calvin has been such a fixture for me in the Chinatown community. We’ve had so many conversations throughout the years. Calvin is always pleasant, warm, and so genuine. I will sorely miss him and Sweet Booth - it will feel like a little piece of Chinatown will leave with them. Sweet Booth was the first and only boba shop before anyone else and hands down is still the best. I wish Calvin and his family joy, luck, and good health moving forward. We will really miss their yummy drinks and contributions to our community. Rita Z


Thank you for everything Sweet Booth! The beat avocado milk shakes and the nicest people. Christine Pirrone As a kid I remember crying after getting a shot at the doctors and begging my parents to get a scoop of ice cream or a drink from this shop. It made me feel so much better and made all my traumatizing doctor visits better :) S A bittersweet farewell to Calvin and Hetty! After school (13-15 years ago), mom would take us to pick up mango and avocado smoothies. When the time of year was right, we’d also pick up mango pudding. Dad visited us on Sundays, so after lunch we’d grab a scoop of ice cream and amble around Chinatown. Any time there was a wedding banquet at Peony, all the kids snuck off to Sweetbooth for drinks. Thank you for giving me 2 decades of delicious treats and warm smiles. Enjoy your retirement Fi

Hi Calvin and Hetty, This is Miranda and I used to work at the Alameda Sweet Booth years ago! Thank you for giving me my first job in high school, and for teaching me how to cut mangos and make delicious drinks :) Congratulations on your retirement and take good care! Miranda Berry My kids always ask for their chocolate ice cream after dim sum at Peony or lunch at Gum Kuo! They are definitely going to miss one of their favorite spots in Chinatown! Connie S You guys were the best!! I have so many good childhood memories here, sipping on that avocado smoothie. Man, always fresh, never powder. Thank you. You don’t know what you mean to me. Gracie Jimenez

I will miss your shop so much, Calvin + Hetty. I used to hang out at the plaza as a young adult. I would always buy boba from Sweet Tooth Booth. At that time we had no idea what boba was, but so glad Calvin + Hetty introduced us to this deliciousness. I am saddened to see that you will be retiring, although very relieved that you’ve reached this pivotal point in your lives! You are a staple to Chinatown and also my childhood. I will never forget the sweet memories made here with my friends. Take care and rest up during retirement! I hope you both enjoy it, because you two are very deserving. Your taro will always be my favorite! Those little chunks of perfectly cooked taro will definitely be missed! Jenny Lam Thank You Sweet Booth! Check out my Chowhound article here: www.chowhound. com/post/sweet-booth-retirement-oaklandchinatown-1097827 Mitchell N

I have been visiting the Sweet Booth for as long as I can remember with my grandma after visiting the library nearby. My favorite drink to order was the red bean shake with vanilla ice cream. Calvin always made the order PERFECTLY every time. Fast forward almost 20 years later, my fiancé and I would visit this place and nothing has changed. I will miss the little booth by the window, picking out the ice cream or just feeling like I’m visiting a place that always brings me back to my childhood. Thank you Calvin & Hetty, enjoy retirement! Wennie Hoang Thank you for all the wonderful memories you have given my family and I! I will always remember how excited I would get when my parents would allow us to buy a scoop of ice cream or smoothie. This was the only shop for a long time that offered avocado flavored ice cream and the owners have always been so kind and friendly. Congratulations on your retirement! Rachel

I grew up going to Sweet Booth on my days to Chinatown with my grandmother. When I was a kid, I loved getting lychee ice cream and telling my classmates about it because they had never had it. I would go with my grandmother or my parents on weekends after Chinese school at Shoong Family Center. When I became a teenager I started coming and getting tapioca drinks, and I always loved seeing the signs and hearing that it was real fruit!! I will miss this place, and I wish you both a healthy and happy retirement!! Oakland will miss you Tai-Ge


I would always come here after Chinese school on Saturdays and when my parents would take me grocery shopping on Sundays. My mom would always get your avocado smoothies and I would either get a milkshake or two scoops of ice cream. Sweet Booth was always a staple for my family and I. Thank you for all the great sweets and memories. Leslie L

The Sweet Booth is the most nostalgic place for me. I grew up in the north bay, and whenever my grandparents would go to Oakland for grocery shopping, I’d always want to tag along so I could get a large watermelon boba and a scoop of green tea ice cream. I’m 25 now, and for 20 years, I’ve ALWAYS gotten the same thing. It’s so dang good. When I was 10, and my parents got married at The Peony upstairs, I literally left their wedding to go get boba. When I went back up, all the groomsmen saw my delicious boba, and suddenly there was huge crowd of men and women, in their wedding attire, crowding the doors of The Sweet Booth. Even in college, when I lived in SF, I’d drive over the bridge just to get my favorite snack. I’m so sad to see it go, but I’m extremely happy Calvin and Hetty get to retire! I wish them nothing but relaxation, health, and happiness in their retirement! They deserve it! Thank you for so many years of the best food and memories! <3 There’s no place like The Sweet Booth! A. Kwan

This place has been so important to my child hood and my moms. When she worked in Chinatown she would always go there and I remember sitting in her office and it would be the greatest day when she had some extra money to get us the mango ice cream smoothie. This place will forever be in my childhood memories and forever be me and my moms favorite. This place, the memories it brings to me brings tears to my eyes. Everyone I know who grew up spending time in Chinatown has happy memories with this shop. Thank you for all that you have given to the community. The shop will forever be missed by me and my family. Kelly Chao

Thank you for being a part of my childhood always been my favorite avocado and mango smoothie ever.

Sad to see you go, but enjoy your retirement ! Priscilla S.

As a Chinatown kid, I had my ballet classes at the Asian Cultural Center, had Saturday dimsum at Peony, got my jook/churng fun fix from Gum Kuo, hung out at the Public Library, and got my first ever boba fix from The Sweet Booth. I remember always asking my mum to bring us to The Sweet Booth after my dance classes or sneaking out with my brother during dimsum for some ice cream or a refreshing watermelon smoothie(his favorite). My parents were always happy to bring us because they knew everything was always made fresh. I wish I made it out more often as I grew up, and I hope that I’ll be able to make it out again to thank you in person before you go! Calvin and Hetty, you have been there for so many of us who have grown up around Oakland Chinatown, and while goodbyes are always hard, your retirement is very well deserved! 辛苦晒了! Vanessa Y

As a kid and young adult, my family has done family reunions in Oakland, and Sweet Booth has featured in that scene since the beginning. I remember always stopping by after dim sum, after dinner, or just whenever the group of cousins decided it was boba time. The fresh fruit and no powders was so special (hot taro remained a family favorite for years), and every time I’ve been in Oakland I’ve made it a point to return to Sweet Booth. I’ll be sad to see it go, but happy for your retirement. I hope it is long, happy, and healthy! H I was introduced to Sweet Booth by a friend who grew up in Oakland when I was in college—I loved the avocado smoothie so much that I would have her bring one for me at SFSU sometimes! Congratulations to Calvin and Hetty on the next part of their journey :) Sylvia S

Man, this place was my ice cream spot growing up! I lived in Chinatown for a huge chunk of my life (since I was born to about 11) and this was one of the few ice cream spots around the area and they were amazing! My mom got to know Calvin and we became regulars (even just to say hi since we couldn’t afford ice cream often). We would go often after dentist appointments (not the best idea, I know), which was conveniently located on the second floor of the same plaza. My childhood favorites were the mint chocolate chip ice cream (I ALWAYS got this without fail) and the honeydew sago drink. Still remember sitting in the little connected seats/table enjoying my treats while my mom chatted up Calvin (who is always super friendly and nice), always looking around in wonder at all the candies, fruits, and ice cream around the small shop wondering how they ever fit it all, and occasionally staring at the cake cone dispenser in the back, hoping my mom would let me have it this time instead of a cup. The memories man.

I’ll miss this place so much and I hope Calvin and his wife will get to enjoy a peaceful and wonderful, well deserved retirement. Hoping also that someone will buy the business to continue the legacy. 😭❤ Calvin + Hetty, 辛苦晒!多謝你哋比到我哋咁 多年嘅美好回憶!希望你哋而家可以開開心心, 健健康康咁享受世界! S. Lam I remember making the trek from Walnut Creek to Oakland every weekend with my little brother and parents to buy Asian groceries. After hours of helping them haul bags of groceries and standing outside shop after shop, a treat from the Sweet Booth was our well earned reward. The Sweet Booth was our first introduction to boba, and since we barely had any boba shops in Walnut Creek back in the day, we faithfully made the trek with our parents each week to get our fix. Thank you for all the sweet memories, Sweet Booth! Bonnie S


I started going to Sweet Booth when I was in kindergarten . I would go after school from Lincoln Elementary. I have gotten the same drink “strawberry smoothie with pearl” and I remember always seeing Calvin there :(. His drinks are the best and is the only shop that I’ve been to that uses fresh fruit. Sweet booth was the first boba shop I ever went to and will always be my favorite. The last time I went was before I moved out to Southern California for college. I’m so sad I can’t have it one last time because I don’t live near oakland anymore. I feel like a huge part of my childhood is lost but I’m glad sweet booth gave me something to look forward to almost everyday after elementary school. I also wish the owners a happy retirement! Kyla

My grandparents would always take me here after our Saturday grocery shopping trips. This place lives up to its name, the sweetest moments with them were made here, whether it be eating their ice cream or drinking the OG boba drink. After losing my grandfather this year, small businesses like these hold my most sentimental moments with him. Thank you so much for decades of precious memories and I wish Calvin and Hetty a happy retirement! E Me, along with my friends, my little sister, and my relatives all had activities during the weekend at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center and we looked the most forward to getting boba from Sweet Booth at the end of our classes. Calvin had become a familiar face over the years and was always so nice and the boba was unlike any other. It was truly fresh! Thank you for all your hard work and your delicious drinks! Please be healthy and well! Susan Gan

I have so many memories here <3 My dad discovered your place when I first moved to the Berkeley 10+ years ago and he took me around oakland to explore “the real chinatown”. Indeed, we found the realest of the boba offering in town! Since then, I have introduced your wonderful shop to so many friends and family who would visit me in Berkeley. Every time my dad comes visit me, Sweetbooth is our first or second stop (after dimsum :p). We have even ran into Calvin pulling his cart full of fresh ingredients and hurriedly open the store because it was almost half hour past 10am on a Sunday. I loved sitting around the fountain chatting with my friends and family while sipping on delicious dessert. A couple years ago my dad passed away and I moved to Oakland. Whenever I would come by Sweet booth for a fresh taro smoothy, it reminds me of all the previous memory that I have with him. I am forever grateful for the space and the experience

that your store provided for creating sweet memories with him. Ordering one last taro smoothy almost brought me to tears <3 With that said, I am also very happy to hear that Calvin and Hetty are retiring and taking a well deserved rest. Wherever you guys go and end up doing, I am certain that you will put a lot of heart and thoughts, and once again create a welcoming place for those who are lucky to have you. I wish Calvin and Hetty a smooth end of one adventure and transition into a chill yet exciting future! Sofia Ch Thank you Calvin and Hetty for serving Oakland fresh smoothies. Your shop is a true gem and will be missed. My favorite drink is almond jelly with pearls. I hope I can get my fix before you close your doors. I’ll miss Calvin and Hetty’s smiles and hospitality. I wish you both a happy retirement! YM

These messages were part of a community led project by Cut Fruit Collective and the Oakland Fortune Cookie Factory. See the messages online: www.kudoboard.com/boards/Cr4LUpzf

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