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Meet Sitavy Thorng of Meccha Matcha in Artesia

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sitavy Thorng.

Sitavy, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have always been an obsessed fan of matcha or green tea back before it became a trend. So when my cousin, Joseph Be (Owner and Founder of Meccha Matcha) first announced that he was opening a matcha shop, I was beyond amazed and excited. Unfortunately, the location was in Plano, TX and I lived in Los Angeles, CA.

At the time of his grand opening in June 2018, I was unhappy with my job because I was limited and knew I can do more. I needed a challenge. Luckily my sister presented me an opportunity to help manage a future boba shop. Later, I joked to her, “What if we brought Meccha Matcha to LA?” Next thing I knew, we flew to Plano, TX in October to discuss with Joseph and then had our soft opening on January 18, 2019. It was unreal.

Just like any business during the first year, we had a lot to learn; especially myself. I’ve never managed a team before, let alone a business. I quickly had to understand to separate personal from business, especially when working with family. The list just goes on, but that’s part of running a business. You learn and improve in every way possible.

It’s been about more than a year since we’ve opened and honestly, teamwork is what got us to where we are now. I am truly blessed to have employees who care about the product, our customers, and the company. My cousin and my sister always gave me the support I needed. Can’t forget our amazing customers, especially our regulars who has been with us since the beginning. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, I am proud of the work that was put into help keeping Meccha Matcha standing; and hopefully continue standing.

Has it been a smooth road?
If there is no struggle in opening a business, are you even doing it right? Running a business is tough. There are so many aspects you have to think about and just when you think everything is okay, something happens (haha). You just have to be prepared at all times. Except, we were not prepared for what was about to happen in 2020.

The biggest struggle of all was when the COVID-19 pandemic happened. We ended up closing for two weeks. The saddest day was when I had to shut down immediately when California issued the ‘Stay At Home’ order. The hardest part was telling my employees that they will not be returning to work and we don’t know when they can return to work because we were unsure on when we will open again. Luckily, we re-opened but drastically had to cut our operation hours. Since we were still expected to pay rent and utilities, we couldn’t afford to have our employees return. So it was just my sister and I working for about a month. We were fighting to survive the pandemic. We took it day by day in hopes that we can outlast the economic damage from the pandemic. Thanks to the PPP loan, we were able to bring our employees back. All there is left to do now is wait and see.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Meccha Matcha – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Meccha Matcha is a matcha-centric tea shop. We are known for having the strongest matcha ice cream in America because we offer three levels. Level 1 is for those who like or is new to matcha. Level 2 is for those who love matcha. Level 3 is for the obsessed matcha lovers. Once a year, we offer Level 5. Note that we do not have a level 4 because the number 4 is bad luck in the Japanese culture. We only offer Level 5 about 1-2 times a year as a special treat for our most enthusiastic matcha lovers. Level 5 is not for everyone due to the extreme intensity of matcha, but I’ve seen customers eat up to 2 servings of level 5 in one sitting!

Not only do we offer matcha ice cream, we offer it in soft serve, latte, ice blended, milk tea and so much more! If you LOVE matcha, Meccha Matcha is the place to go. If you are not a fan of matcha, we have other options as well like strawberry, black sesame, & more.

About our products:
– Our matcha is directly sourced from Okabe, Japan. One of three largest shade-grown tea producers in Japan.
– The majority of our menu items are made from scratch. Yes, that means our soft serve and ice cream is made in-house. Our mochi balls are handrolled. We make our own in-house simple syrup. Basically, there is a lot of prep-work that needs to be done on a daily basis.
– We use simple and fresh ingredients with no artificial flavors, colors, or additives.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
What I love most about Los Angeles is how diverse our culture is and how chill Angelenos are.

What I like least about our city is the confusing parking signs. Can I park here or no? haha.

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