By: Valerie Carillo ’20, Wessley Edmonds ’20, Sofia Rojo-Kratochvil ’20, and Nicole Stepovich ’19
A hotspot for foodies and influencers alike, Holy Matcha is a familiar name to the North Park community. Its photogenic interior, complete with pink pastel walls and delicate flower arrangements, makes it a popular site for social media fanatics. Coupled with its equally attractive and delectable cuisine, Holy Matcha has become a well-known restaurant in San Diego for its great food and even better atmosphere.
Holy Matcha’s origins stem back to founder Geraldine Ridaura, a pioneer in entrepreneurship and women empowerment. After experiencing negative side effects from coffee, Ridaura decided it was best that she take this staple out of her diet. Desperate to find a healthy, beneficial alternative to her beloved coffee, she stumbled upon matcha while on a trip to Japan. She was drawn to its unique flavor and plethora of health advantages since it’s full of antioxidants, vitamins, and amino acids. Matcha’s resurgence as a trendy, “power” ingredient in recent years paved the way for Ridaura to open a cafe unlike any other – and thus Holy Matcha was born .
Though it seems as if matcha has only recently entered the sphere of superfoods, it has actually served as a significant ingredient in Asian culture. Its unmistakable green hue has accompanied Japanese tea ceremonies for centuries. In keeping with its historical prominence, Ridaura matcha is sourced ethically from Kyoto, Japan. Ridaura is challenging the perspective that matcha is simply a “trend,” as she works to inform others of its rich historical journey.
Another stereotype she challenges is the male-dominated society she grew up in, or “machismo,” as she calls it. To counter this machismo, Holy Matcha boasts an entirely female staff. Led by Ridaura, the women at Holy Matcha focus on understanding and supporting each other in every endeavor they undertake. In speaking of her advocacy, Ridaura stated, “We hold the power to create a better tomorrow and it is up to us to, show girls that women need to work together to continue to make headway in this society.” Ridaura wants to move humanity forward by cultivating a generation of women that do not strive to compete against each other, but instead encourage and uplift.
To relay these messages, Ridaura has built an impressive social media platform. With nearly 35,000 Instagram followers, Holy Matcha has made a name for itself on the business and social media spectrums. Offering a spin on the average tea room, Holy Matcha has become an “Instagram famous” café for its chic and stylish decor and its aesthetic presentation of food and drink. Ridaura has shown her dedication to quality and cohesiveness through her matcha creations, but she also enjoys sharing her love for matcha with her customers. When asked about what makes her passionate about her work, Ridaura responded, “It’s so rewarding to help customers enter the world of matcha and educate them on the wonders of the tea and then, over time, see the impact that matcha has made in their lives.” Ridaura’s work as an Architect of Change has a significant impact for all who walk through her doors and beyond. We celebrate Geraldine Ridaura and her commitment to empower women and educate humanity on healthy living.
Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/holymatchaa/?hl=en
Restaurant Website: https://www.holymatchasd.com/