A Matcha with Chiara from The Matcha Club.
Hi Chiara, welcome to the journal. We’re so pleased to have you here, and we’re so excited for Lepelclub to collaborate with your exciting new business; The Matcha Club!
First thing’s first, let’s go back to the beginning. Please tell us a little more about The Matcha Club and how it was born - we’d love to hear about your initial ideas and inspirations.
Working in the corporate world, and being surrounded by many coffee addicts, I started drinking coffee early on. I fell into a coffee addiction but realised it made me feel very anxious and nervous. That’s when I was first introduced to Matcha by my Mom. My interest grew, and I tried various brands and Matcha bars abroad. I discovered the differences in quality and realised that the Matcha I was served out was almost never prepared correctly, tasting watery or bitter (even fishy sometimes!). I've also always dreamt about having my own little coffee-shop one day. Therefore, the thought of creating Switzerland’s first Matcha bar felt close to my heart.
When we started, our main goal was to offer high quality Matcha, prepared correctly, and convince people that “good matcha” is delicious. We wanted to ensure our Matcha was out of this world both in taste, and in the way it was sourced organically. From the start, we did everything ourselves and we’re still learning along the way.
Creating a brand is hard work, but the passion behind it and the team makes it all fun and inspiring on a daily basis. In May last year, we opened our first pop-up store, followed by two more successful pop-ups since. We are blessed with an amazing team and the best customers. Once you enter our store, you will understand what I mean… The whole vibe is positive and amazing. Now, just one year later, we are standing before a huge milestone: Our own Matcha bar and boutique in the heart of Zurich city.
That’s an amazing start-up story and your passion for your business really shines through. We’d love to know a little more about your own background, and your route into entrepreneurship from corporate.
I have always worked in corporate, but at heart, I'm a creative. I saw myself exploring that in the future as I fully believe in doing something that inspires you on a daily basis, in an environment in which you can be yourself. Wellness and everything related has always been a huge passion of mine. My mother is a yoga teacher, and growing up I have always received the best advice from her on self-care. She taught me how to prepare the best Matcha by making it a self-care ritual, as well as the importance of health and creating a daily routine.
What, so far, has been the most challenging aspect of building your business? And what has been the most rewarding?
As someone who is very passionate and ambitious about what I do, the most challenging aspect of building my business has been maintaining a good work-life balance. Even when you love what you do, self-care and time where you are not thinking about business is important. On the other hand, receiving the most heartwarming messages and meeting our clients is the most rewarding thing ever. Hearing that customers love our Matcha and that we have become part of their daily routine makes all the hard work worth it.
Can you share with us the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
To just get started. The timing will never be perfect - you will figure things out along the way, but the hardest first step is to just start. To anyone who wants to embark on something new or start a business: I say don’t be afraid!
Here at Lepelclub, our favourite time of day is always our drinks break! Haha. If you could take a morning matcha break with any three people, who would you pick?
This is a tough question! I think it would be interesting to meet Negin Mirsalehi, Matilda Djerf and Sami Clarke for a Matcha. I love these girls!
We are super curious to find out - What are your plans for stirring things up in the future?
I’m so proud of The Matcha Club and what we have accomplished in only one year, but we’re just getting started. The Matcha Club is always growing, which we’re more than excited about. We can't wait to finally open the doors to the first Matcha Bar in Switzerland, and contribute to the growing community of Matcha lovers. We are also so excited to reveal that we will be selling Lepelclub in store! Overall, I want to continue spreading Matcha magic everywhere.
Follow Chiara's journey and keep up to date with The Matcha Club by following along on Instagram, @the.matchaclub