Vicky Shyr is #MadeForKnoxville.

At Hey Bear Cafe, Vicky seeks to provide a space where people can bring their whole selves to the table. 

From the kids’ reading nook to the outdoor playground and food truck park, Vicky prioritizes making space for everyone at Hey Bear Cafe. She created her boba tea shop with moms in mind, seeking to create a place where she could be a mom and a friend. Through Hey Bear Cafe, Vicky is able to share her Taiwanese upbringing with her two kids and the Knoxville community. 

The inspiration for Hey Bear’s outdoor space, “The Cave,” came from Vicky’s family trips to Hawaii. The 2-acre space includes a food truck park, a sandbox, a playground, and countless picnic tables. Her team manages a calendar full of community events, with artist markets, trivia, or kids’ art classes happening on any given day. At its core, Hey Bear is a place where small businesses thrive and families and friends can come together. 

Learn about her future plans at Kern’s Food Hall here!

“As a mom, it’s important to be able to catch up with friends where my kids can have fun.”

In Their Own Words…

I grew up in Taiwan and moved to the United States, first to Georgia and then to Tennessee. In Georgia, it was a melting pot–there were so many areas to explore and lots of people with different cultures. When my husband and I moved to Knoxville, we realized the city was missing this, so we decided to create it! We started selling boba tea from a small table at the front of Sunrise Supermarket, our other family business. In 2019, we decided to expand and open the cafe. Running Hey Bear Cafe is a team effort, and I am grateful to have an amazing team and family to support me!  

The main inspiration behind Hey Bear Cafe is my kids. It’s a special way to share my culture with them. In Taiwan, there are boba tea shops everywhere, and everyone has a favorite place. I’m so glad that Knoxville now has lots of places to try boba and experience a piece of my culture. As a mom, it’s important to be able to catch up with friends in a place where my kids can have fun. One of the first things we did after opening was install a playground on our 2-acre property. Another top priority for us is supporting the community of small businesses in Knoxville. Our food truck park highlights a rotating list of local food truck businesses. We also host several events that promote local businesses and artists, including live music events, kids’ art classes, and local artisan markets. 


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