For me, opening up a tea lounge has its background based since high school. Some friends and I originally wanted to open up a Kool-Aid cafe. Well, things have obviously changed and we explored the bar/club aspect as well, but it probably wasn’t for us. Mainly, we wanted to open a place that was a chill spot. A place where you can sit and read, socialize, play board games and quite simply; just somewhere to hang out. It goes back to our days hanging out in various spots around Lane Tech High School such as Wendy's or Waveland Bowl or in other 'hoods such as Loyola, in the now defunct Campus Room and Atomic Cafe.
Tea was always something I enjoyed drinking rather than coffee. I enjoyed coffee, but it always made me crash after a quick, caffeine joy ride. I like something more laid back and at ease. The tea lounge idea actually came from a buddy of mine, who I have known since grade school. (He just recently graduated culinary school and created our Asian salad) So around the 2000's I really got into trying out more different types of tea instead of your traditional “Spring Jasmines” and “Earl Greys.” Teas were starting to make a breakthrough as well, with different infusions and fermented teas being more marketable such as the white and oolong teas. To add to this, there are great health benefits and studies that were surrounding tea. It was really exciting. In addition to the teas, I was always interested in cooking. I always liked cooking whenever there were pot-luck parties and while living in my various apartments throughout the Chi. It saved tons of money and we ate like we were at home, so making the sandwiches in house were a key in satisfying that hunger.
Nowadays, I DJ gigs and fundraisrers, most recently a fundraiser for the Children's Museum in Navy Pier and the Halloween party for Pandora at the Hard Rock Hotel. That's where you'll find me outside the weekday, morning shifts at the tea lounge. I'm taking a break from school, we're I'm in the midst of acquiring a B.S. in BioChemistry. I still have lots of ideas in my head that I want to pursue and slowly but surely the passion of each one of them will come to fruition, just as LooseLeaf Lounge has begun to blossom. In the mean time, you'll see me working on opening a new dog care boutique in Lincoln Square, Jack & Ginger's Dog Care.