Welcome to The Forum’s Business Owner Highlight Series! Meet our incredible business owners through these insightful interviews sharing how their business originated, its specialties, and personal anecdotes. Enjoy!
1. What is your full name, title, and the name of your business?
Rocco Quaranto III, Co-Founder Tama Tea
2. What is the background story of your business? What was it that inspired you to start it?
My Co-Founders, Kelly & Wells Struble and I saw a traditional cafe model that needed changing up. Our idea was for Tama Cafe to be a tea focused cafe with a unique menu that would bring people in and excite them with new experiences.
3. What does your business specialize in?
We have 30 types of loose leaf tea, a variety of signature drinks that are all tea-based and we even launched a canned sparkling tea that is sold through the region named… Tama Tea. We don’t just stop at tea, we serve coffee & espresso, beer, wine, and mimosas. We also put a ton of pride in our food menu serving breakfast and lunch items that we hope will keep you coming back.
4. What brings you the greatest joy in managing/owning this business?
We have a passion for creating and serving fresh, unique and healthy drinks and food items. It’s a great joy to create something that people love and drive back for every day.
5. What’s one fun fact about your business that most people don’t know about?
While doing our research for the brand we needed a name and came across a New Zealand explorer from the 1300s named Tamatea. He would explore the neighboring islands of New Zealand by sea. So we are coming up with this tea concept, sourcing teas from around the world for our customers to “explore” and this guy has “tea” in his name! We split his name in ½ and went with “Tama Tea.” We later adjusted the brick and mortar name to “Tama Cafe” and lent the name “Tama Tea” to our new sparkling tea line.
6. Why do you believe it’s important to shop local?
When you support that local cafe, sub shop, brewery, boutique, ice cream shop, etc that money is going towards your neighbor’s mortgage, their child’s daycare, their groceries and eventually back to the business you work at. That being said it’s our right as consumers to spend our money how we see fit, I have no issues with national brands. It’s my responsibility as a small business owner to offer you something that the national brands can’t so you want to shop locally.