As one of the most Instagrammable spots in San Diego, Holy Matcha in North Park has been serving customers with an array of matcha delights until they are tickled pink. With its signature decor and specialties including matcha latte, matcha lemonade and matcha soft serve, green tea fans are in superfood heaven at Holy Matcha.
Opening on Friday is a second newly designed location at Park 12 — The Collection in the East Village near Petco Park. The new development will house four residential buildings and a semicircular public plaza surrounded by shops and restaurants, with Holy Matcha will occupying a space alongside Carmelita’s Mexican eatery, F45 Training fitness studio, and Creamistry liquid nitrogen ice cream parlor.
Fresh on the new menu will be specialty drinks exclusive to the location, as well as classics and various green tea bites.
Ahead of Holy Matcha’s opening, PACIFIC chatted with owner and USD grad Geraldine Ridaura about her new venture in the up-and-coming East Village.
PACIFIC: What's something you've learned from Holy Matcha North Park that you take with you to the East Village?
GERALDINE RIDAURA: Gosh, that’s a tough one as I’ve learned an entire novel since opening Holy Matcha two years ago (in North Park). The biggest lesson would have to be dedication, baby. You give it 200% and you will get results.
What will the new location look like? Will it be similar to the North Park location?
The North Park location will always be my baby, which is why the thought of replicating it felt like cheating! I was lucky enough to travel to Japan and Paris last year, where the sleek, modern designs inspired me to take the aesthetic for the new location in a different direction. As I evolve, Holy Matcha evolves, as well.
What do you expect will be the same or different in terms of customers in a new neighborhood?
Located in the fastest growing neighborhood in S.D., I imagine the new downtown East Village location will attract tourists fresh from the airport or Petco Park with a weekday flow of corporate professionals and local residents. Holy Matcha loyalists will make special trips for the East Village neighborhood exclusives and photo-worthy atmosphere.
Matcha has been celebrated as a superfood. What do you see as its biggest benefit?
Matcha is life, girl, life! Shoot ... why do you do this to me?! Matcha is an amazing energy boost. It’s loaded with antioxidants, which are great for your skin and health. I’ve experienced great benefits from matcha, especially in reducing inflammation as it is jam-packed with amino acids. Personally, I believe matcha is good for both your inner- and outer-being.
We hear there will be exclusive neighborhood menu items at the new location. Can you drop any hints on what those will be to entice readers?
Mushrooms galore, baby. The health benefits of adaptogenic mushrooms are endless: blood sugar regulation, weight reduction, increase in digestive health, anti-inflammatory, and more.
For someone who's never been to a Holy Matcha, what's a must try on their first trip?
Depends how open you are to trying something new. If you’re willing to go all the way, my Ceremonial is served warm in a traditional Japanese “chawan.” If you’re not ready to tackle that, you can try my signature and award-winning Matcha Horchata. It’s a delicious treat, rich in vanilla and cinnamon.
I know it's hard, but personal favorite menu item?
Easy! Beverage: Ceremonial
Food: Avocado toast with extra chili flakes
What’s one tidbit about you or Holy Matcha we don't know?
I rarely share this, but one of the biggest impacts matcha has had on me was when I had knee surgery three years ago, prior to Holy Matcha’s existence. For someone like myself that’s constantly on the go and always, always standing, my knees get extremely swollen, but I have to power through. Matcha has truly been an aid in helping me fight the inflammation and discomfort.