Milk Box: boba for a cause

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The refreshing, creamy goodness of milk tea paired with the tender chew of boba—at a price that’s right for you. Milk Box, a cozy boba shop nestled in the trendy Union Market at The District, now caters to a wider range of people with their implementation of “Pay What You Can,” a unique policy that tailors the price of each drink to the needs of the customer.

“When the owners explained it to us, they wanted to make the drinks more accessible to people,” server Amy Vandyken said. “People who wouldn’t normally be able to buy our drinks could; if they didn’t have enough money, they could now.”

Since Feb. 9, Milk Box has been serving their drinks at a flexible price with their “Pay What You Can” policy and announced on Instagram that a minimum of ten percent of proceeds gained from every drink goes to the community.

Each month, Milk Box plans to donate to different local charities, and this month, funds will be donated to Operation Agua. Operation Agua aims to bring water purification systems to families in Puerto Rico after the devastating Hurricane Maria.

“We’re going to be doing this pay-whatever-you-want thing permanently. The minimum price is zero—we just have a suggested price of $4,” Vandyken said. “I feel like more people generally pay either the given price or more than that than lower. We do have those people that pay less, but it balances out.”

With “Pay What You Can,” this humble boba business has become a trailblazer in giving back to the community and embracing change. The ambitious goals of Milk Box are displayed through a declaration on Instagram: “Our hope is that by doing good, this will inspire others to do good for others.”