Tama Tea Rebrands To Tama Cafe

By Jessica Maurer, posted Dec 20, 2017
Lawrence Perkins of Tama Cafe shows off one of his sandwiches. (Photo courtesy of Tama Cafe)
When Tama Tea founders Rocco Quaranto and Kelly and Wells Struble opened their first location in The Forum in early 2016, they set out to operate a retail tea shop with a small area to enjoy their signature beverages. Although they had a small menu of tartines and baked goods, the primary focus was on the tea.
But as time went on, the owners began to observe that customers were brining in food from other restaurants to eat while they enjoyed their tea at lunchtime. It was at that point that they decided it was time to expand their menu and shift their focus to operating as a cafe.  
Fortunately they were able to call on Lawrence Perkins, manager of Tama Tea in Chapel Hill (and the soon-to-open Raleigh location), to help develop the menu. Perkins is a culinary school graduate and was one of the original partners in the Asheville Sandwich Company in 2012.
“All of Lawrence’s sandwiches are both unique and delicious,” Rocco Quaranto said.
Two of the sandwiches Quaranto said have been most popular so far are the Himalayan chicken with fire-roasted chicken, basil pesto, pickled onions and lime crema, and the Masala pork with smoked pork, hummus, roasted red peppers and cilantro.
Quaranto said that Perkins has also expanded the breakfast selections to include items such as banana cakes with homemade blueberry syrup and a sunrise sandwich with egg, roasted red pepper, tomato, spinach and sunflower spread on ciabatta.
With the shift in focus, Quaranto and the Strubles felt it was appropriate to change the name to Tama Cafe. While they will still carry 90 percent of the loose-leaf teas they started out with, as well as their signature hot and cold beverages, Quaranto said the new name indicates that they are more than just a tea shop.
“It’s really our customers who have really led us in this direction and we’ve done our very best to respond to that,” Quaranto said.
With the expanded menu, Tama Cafe now offers catering as well as dine-in and carryout service.
Tama Tea is open 8 8 p.m. daily and is located in The Forum at 1127 Military Cutoff Road, Suite C.
Have a tip for Restaurant Roundup? Email [email protected].

Story On The Map

Ico insights



Understanding the AI Ladder

Diane Durance - UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Jim ellis headshot 10311631058

Facebook Ads: What’s Changing

Jim Ellis - Signal

Word Power

Yasmin Tomkinson - Cape Fear Literacy Council

Trending News

Hendrick Automotive To Operate Stevenson Honda Of Wilmington

Johanna Cano - Jun 19, 2018

Three New Stores Open At The Cotton Exchange

Johanna Cano - Jun 20, 2018

Axes To Fly At Former Red Barn Theater

Cece Nunn - Jun 20, 2018

Aloft Hotel Update: Contractor Chosen, Construction Expected Soon

Cece Nunn - Jun 21, 2018

The Wine Sampler Opens In New Location

Jessica Maurer - Jun 20, 2018

In The Current Issue

Berry Farms Weather The Ups And Downs

The weather might have made the 2018 growing season challenging for local berry farmers thus far, but it has not slowed demand for straight-...

Using The State's Brownfields Program As A Catalyst For Development

The N.C. Brownfields Program has helped facilitate millions of dollars in investments in underused downtown Wilmington property and many oth...

Construction Zone: Updates On 4 Commercial Projects

Current commercial building activity in Wilmington includes retail and office space, with more planned in the coming years throughout the ar...

Book On Business

The 2018 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!



2018 Power Breakfast - Dishing on the Restaurant Biz
2018 WilmingtonBiz Expo - Keynote Lunch with Eric Dinenberg, Rouse Properties
2017 Health Care Heroes