Vinewood, San Andreas – With both the quiet and hectic days in the city, many of its residents find themselves wanting a quiet space to sit, read and take respite from the trials of the day they have had, and for many, that place has become The Little Teapot. So, we at Weazel News present to you the next instalment of “Taking a bite out of Los Santos”.
Interview with the Owners Kaida Himari and Charlie Nakamura
What made you choose the theme of the store?
Kaida Himari: “First we wanted a noodle house, a little ramen shop to deliver with little fagios as we loved the idea. However after trialling that for a while we eventually went onto teas and boba tea.
The original location was at little hawick and milton but that didn’t work out so then we went onto food trucks and just drove around to place where people hang out and later chanced upon where we are currently set up now.”
Charlie Nakamura: “There was this one night where I just couldn’t sleep no matter the lack of trying and I had noticed the current spot we are in now when driving around. Needless to say it caught my eye but I wasn’t sure if it would be up for rent.
So I eventually went inside and found out it hadn’t been open in a month! I made an offer and a week later it was The Little Teapot instead of the Geode. So thank you Camile for selling it to us. It makes me feel nostalgic to think back then that ourselves and Ari’s Deli were the only food trucks around and we did that for an entire month before finding a more permanent place.”
What is the vibe you are trying to create?
Charlie Nakamura: “If I could put it into one word, that would be home. A place they can call their own really. The goal has always been to create a place for everyone to come and feel comfy, especially those that just moved to the city.
Many feel lost and don’t know what to do or where to go, so we really like to help them as much as we can. It’s even more heartwarming when those we help become regular customers and come back later to show us all the things they have achieved, be it getting a job, having saved up for a car or even starting their own business.
Two businesses we are proud to have helped is Hardcore Comics and Creampie.”
Kaida Himari: “I think Charlie really covered it all there so I’ll just add that we’d definitely like it to be a home but also with a splash of quirkiness.”
What made you choose the recipes for your menu?
Kaida Himari: “We both really love tea so tea was always going to be an important part of our menu. We wanted to have a wide variety of teas so there was a large range to choose from. We had boba tea, dragon tea, summer blend, taro and macha. Some of them were picked by customers as their personal favourites but we also added dragon tea for the link to Asian zodiac.”
Charlie Nakamura: “Asian tastes is something that is in the centre of both our hearts, so we wanted our menu to reflect that. We grew up together in Japan and then moved here, so we wanted to bring something from home with us.”
They went on to state that for food items, they wished to have a mixture of cultures and fusions. Hence chicken and waffles, bangers and mash and comfort foods from all over the world because comfort means home. The owners also gave us a tip off that they are expecting new menu items soon so keep your eyes peeled!
If you could say anything to the people of Los Santos, what would that be?
Charlie Nakamura: “I would like to say that the sky’s the limit and there is always a starting point, like our story for example. We started with nothing and then we came here and decided to give up on the noodle idea and just go big! Because why not. So from the small ramen delivery shop we made our dream even bigger and opened our very own tea shop. So I’d like to say work hard, stay humble and dream big.”
Kaida Himari: “A very big thank you to our loyal customers, the people that hang out and get to know us, so many helped after the crash and restarting from the ground up that we all suffered after the mutiny. Just thank you really, we can never say it enough to both the great supporters and all our employees. A special shout out to Starla Night who was one of our first employees, she is beyond fantastic and amazing and has stuck with us throughout everything.”
Interview with the Manager, Starla Night
How long has this place been open?
“Over a year for sure!”
What brought you to come work here?
“I originally met both the owners when they came to town in Paleto, they asked if I needed a ride and we have just been friends ever since. It’s a beautiful friendship that has blossomed. They were in the process of opening the teapot at the time and asked if I needed a job, so here I am!”
What would you describe the vibe like?
“A very homey comfortable place with warm browns, be it leather, brick or wood with plentiful plants and rugs.”
What is your favourite item on the menu?
“The homemade mac’n’cheese which was a previous menu item, I absolutely loved it. Unsure if it will make a return but I am keeping my fingers crossed.
We are giving the menu a revamp so I am hoping a few old favourites come back.”
Cheapest item for savers?
“We usually have running specials that are either set or changings ones which will be written up on our menu boards. So it’s usually a drink and a food item all for $60.”
Have you experienced any violence, if so, how much and would you care to elaborate?
“We have had a few incidents since reopening like trying to rob us while inside the store. So we have put up a sign on the door to hopefully try and help discourage that.
Someone came in the other day because they were hungry and thus decided to try and rob us but the thing is, I have given food to people that are hungry and have needed it before. Because I know what it’s like to struggle, they just needed to ask rather than just thinking they needed to use violence to take it.
We are just here working hard to try to be here for everybody, so robbing is not okay and I don’t have time for it. Neither does The Little Teapot.”
Allergy and Dietary Requirements Information:
Upon asking Starla about the Allergy and Dietary issues many face, she replied with this.
“I have a friend who is allergic to nuts but still loves peanut butter milkshakes so she just brings in her own flavoured powder and gets it made up with her own dietary requirements in mind. So I like to think that gives a pretty good example of how we can still make delicious food and drinks while catering to those that need something extra special.”
Do you or your business have something related to city life or foodie interests you’d like to talk about? Contact me (Evaine Delaney) on (835) 938-5850.
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