A new gift shop and café called Matcha Time is making its home in downtown Ellicott City.
Owner Hatsumi Watanabe-Smith grew up outside Tokyo, and later traveled the world. Now she and her family are settled in Ellicott City, where she’s decided to open shop, named for the Japanese green tea known as matcha
. The gift shop opened this month at the 1,000-square-foot space at 8381 Merryman St. The café will open in the coming months once it gets county approval.
Though Ellicott City is home to a tea room, Tea on the Tiber
, Matcha Time will offer sushi, Japanese baked goods and, hopefully, a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
Watanabe-Smith and her husband Derek Smith invested about $70,000 in the store, whose entrance faces a parking lot. The space was previously home to the Hackers Inc. Mancave
, which moved last spring to a larger location in Ellicott City. Smith says the search for a suitable space took months, as good locations in Ellicott City tend to get snapped up fast.
The space is divided between a retail section, and the teashop and café. The retail side features Japanese crafts, origami, and handbags and clutches fashioned from vintage kimonos.
Writer: Amy Landsman firstname.lastname@example.org
Sources: Hatsumi Watanabe-Smith, Derek Smith, owners, Matcha Time