Friday, June 20, 2008

Best Pizza in Albany - revisited

I am so excited to have finally found really good pizza in Albany!

A couple of months ago we were talking in the tearoom about the best pizza in Albany. Well, I can confidently say that I found it. Soho Pizza on Lark Street, right across from my new shop has amazing pizza. Thin crunchy crust with a bit of chew so it's not a cracker, excellent sauce to cheese ratio, and true NYC flavor. I typically only go for regular cheese pizza, but their specialty slices are great too, especially the Chicken Parm pizza.

This shop being so close to me is proving to be a blessing to my palate and a curse to my thighs!

That's it for now.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

New Location now open!

Yesterday we quietly opened the door at our new Lark Street location - that's 274 Lark Street in Albany (between Hudson and Hamilton). We have no sign yet and chose to open softly - with no promotion. Yet, the moment we unlocked the door, our first customer walked right in. His name is Mike, he bought some loose tea, an iced tea, and a chocolate truffle. And guess what? He came back again today for a bubble tea! We love Mike! Lots of people from the neighborhood stopped in to welcome and congratulate us, and even some regulars from the warehouse stopped by when they heard we were open.
I designed the space to offer a cozy urban oasis and hope that if you have the opportunity, you'll stop by and visit. Just like At the Warehouse, this is another small location (not quite as small - we have a couple of outdoor cafe tables and seating for about 10 inside).
If you've been to the warehouse location, you're familiar with our theme; we've taken our global bohemian approach a bit further in our new space and offer an expanded tea menu complete with globally inspired drinks like Tibetan butter tea and South American yerba mate served in the traditional gourd with bombilla. We're also offering some new creations like the mate dew (my take on the energy drink) and my new favorite, the Jasmine "Champagne". If you don't want tea, we'll brew you a good strong cup of coffee, or mix you up authentic Brooklyn egg cream.

Our business hours are Monday - Friday 11-2 and 3-8 (2-3 siesta); weekends 10:30-4. If hours change or I'll be closing early for some reason, I'll post it on this blog. The At the Warehouse shop will remain open on weekends from 10-3.
I want to take this opportunity to thank you so much for your support.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

What happens in Vegas

Well, I just returned from sunny Las Vegas, Nevada. I mean I think it was sunny - it was really hard to figure out how to get out of the hotel.

Here's my hotel lobby on the evening I arrived:

And here's my hotel lobby at 7am the next morning:

While you can imagine how enticing this was, and I did notice a few empty seats in the casino and at the bars at 7am, I had to pass on the "What happens in Vegas" gig because I was there for the 2008 World Tea Expo; it was the largest tea converence ever and it was great!
Tea and Vegas - a perfect combination.
I'm sure there were thousands of attendees. I met people in the tea business from all over the world including Canada, the UK, South Africa, Bangladesh, China, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, and even Florida!
While there I attended a bunch of really interesting educational seminars including the 2008 State of the Industry report. I learned that while sales of many other beverages including coffee, soft drinks and juices are declining, sales of tea in this country are continuing to grow at an accelerated pace. The industry pundits are predicting continued growth in the tea industry, in large part because of the the many documented health and well-being benefits of tea. I found out that even Oprah drinks tea! So tea has arrived.
I tasted many new teas and am sure I'll be expanding my product line in the near future. Probably, after I get the doors open on Lark Street.
While I was away, Joe managed the teashop At the Warehouse with ease and grace. At the Warehouse, by the way, is celebrating it's first anniversary this week. The salvage business and the weekend market are thriving, the dance studio continues to deliver yoga and latin dance classes, and a new cafe will be opening there shortly. I believe it's being run by a well-known local caterer (but I don't know who).
I'm glad to be home.