INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- An Inglewood tea shop owner set out with a vision to educate her community on all the health benefits tea has to offer and now business is brewing even during the pandemic.
Coffee culture has always played a major role in our society, but here in Inglewood, Lara Curtis wanted to expose her community to something new when she launched her shop in 2015.
"We were wanting to do tea because we wanted to get people off of coffee," Curtis said. "We wanted to show them that you could still get the same type of energy with caffeine, whether it be physical energy or mental clarity, without needing to drink coffee."
Curtis said she wasn't sure how the community would react to her vision of tea bar, but she said the community has been open to trying new things and has supported her during these difficult times.
"I'm fortunate because we have a community here that we're developing with people who care and people who see the vision of Mingles Tea Bar," Curtis said.
"It's great to experience new things, try different things that you normally wouldn't try I have been looking for a tea place in Inglewood for practically ever," said customer Juy Domingue.
While Curtis said social distancing has been hard during these times but she also said having to transition to outside dining has had its perks.
"We've had to start seating outside and a friend of mine actually started painting the patio and doing great things and it looks better sitting outside," Curtis said. "So, we're getting a lot of new customers and they say, 'Oh my goodness, I live two blocks over and never knew this was here had it not been for Corona.'"
Curtis said when you walk into Mingles Tea Bar it's like walking into her home. Whether you're learning about all the health benefits that tea has to offer or you're meeting Lara's mother who makes Mingles' peach cobbler and lemon cake.
"It's been overwhelming to see the love and compassion from the community and the people that we serve, because we always say it's not about us," Curtis said. "So, when you come here, we serve you not only with integrity, but with respect and love and some awesome, awesome tea."
Mingles Tea Bar is located at 8443 Crenshaw Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90305.