By Jennifer L. Warren
BEACON – From the moment you enter Matcha Thomas, you feel it.
Maybe it’s the soothing aroma blends that infuse the air. Perhaps it could be credited to the minimal and brightly designed walls, inspired by a Japanese-Scandanavian influence, accompanied by just the right amount of neutral overtones. Or maybe it’s the wall off to the left, the one covered with a host of gratitude, communal notes, some even “gifting” another person a menu item. It could just be the entire ambience created by all of these elements, combined with the magnetic, spiritual vibe and deep, rich traditions carried by the four member owner family. Whatever it is, it has been warmly embraced by those who have experienced it as it approaches its third month anniversary at the 259 Main Street residence in the City of Beacon.
The relatively new “wellness teahouse,” features Matcha (powdered tea) from Japan in an assortment of colorful, super healthy and intentionally-crafted lattes which offer; a slow-release/energy-boosting caffeine, vitamins, fiber and 137 times the antioxidants of green tea. The healing tea is also a natural outgrowth of the health and wellness, along with advocacy and mindfulness lifestyle journey that the Thomas family has been involved with the past 10 years as well as lifelong focus on nutrition and health.
“We love getting involved with mindfulness practices, especially during the Pandemic, and we have been fans of Matcha for years, always experimenting with different recipes at home,” explained older sister Haile, age 20. “So when we came across the place for rent in Beacon, the timing felt so right, and we were so excited to open a place to share these recipes, the unique health benefits of Matcha as well as its deep history.
All four of the family members take part in the business venture. Haile, along with 16 year old sister Nia, are up front, welcoming in customers, blending and serving lattes and other specialty drinks they have designed; while behind the scenes, the sister duo can be found creating recipes and baking goodies, lovingly labeled with such namesakes as Strawberry Matcha Granola Bars and Smoked Black Tea Chocolate Chip Cookies, that occupy the front counter space. Meanwhile, their mother-Charmaine is in the back, concocting special lemonade and tea blends as well as managing the back end business operations; while father Hugh, who has a full-time engineering job during the week, comes in on Sundays, lending a hand wherever needed. Each one has his or her unique imprint on the business.
Haile is quick to point to the Bova (Bubble Teas) her sister Nia has been researching over the years and perfecting. Taiwanese teas with tapioca pearls and a dairy milk base, they are topped off with tea, resembling a work of fine art and one of the most popular items on the menu. One of Nia’s favorites is the Pineapple Coconut Chai. Mom meanwhile is constantly trying out new drink recipes, testing out her creative abilities as well. Haile never stops brainstorming ways to make the business more inviting, progressive and all the while keeping a peaceful and relaxing aura.
“It’s really cool to see the dynamic of us all working together, and how we all have the opportunity to develop and take responsibility for what we do as well as support one another while bouncing creative ideas off of each other,” said Haile about the cohesive family business vibe.
The formula appears to be working well. On a recent weekend afternoon, smiling customers could be spotted in a long line, eagerly scanning the diversified hot and cold tea options covering the front board, more than willing to patiently wait (writing gratitude notes on the wall or even perusing the back gift shop partnership area featuring candles, face masks and body oils) for their carefully hand-crafted, individualized, authentic beverages. Once their beverage was presented to them, many could not help but capture the priceless, colorful, image of their drink on their phone’s camera. Whether enjoying the multiple benefits of their teas indoors or outdoors, customers all seemed more than pleased to simply have a place like Matcha Thomas available.
“It’s been amazing so far, something that the Beacon community was really craving, a spot for peace and joy,” said Haile about the reception of the business so far. “Our intention with starting this place was not to just serve tasty drinks, but to create a wellness atmosphere from the moment people walk in, and I think that has really worked so far; it’s a place where we want everyone to feel welcome and to be able to experience these kind of teas and plant-based food options in new and different ways.”
Matcha Thomas is open from Friday- Sunday, 10am-5pm.