Rahway To Welcome New Tea Shop

RAHWAY – During the month of October, the city of Rahway will welcome Kataluma Chai, a gourmet tea café, to its downtown business community.

The café located at 1470 Main Street will offer flavored chai teas, coffee, bagels, breakfast pastries, desserts, and ice cream. The space will also feature free Wi-Fi, study areas and be available for parties and special events.  The grand opening weekend is open to the community and scheduled for Oct. 16-18.


Patrons who visit the café during opening weekend will be treated to their choice of one free cup of chai latte or a free scoop of ice cream.  The ribbon cutting is scheduled for Oct. 14, and will be attended by representatives from the Rahway Center Partnership and the city council.

Rahway residents and Kataluma Chai co-owners Aisha Thomas-Petit and Danielle Etienne decided to open the café after taking a winter vacation to Denver, Colorado.

Thomas-Petit recalls, “on our way to one of Colorado’s local malls we saw this quaint, little tea shop and could not resist stopping.  After drinking the tea we fell in love with it.  Throughout our trip we kept talking about how good the tea was and how we needed something like this back in New Jersey.  After we came home we decided we should open a cafe and bring some ‘comfort in a cup’ to the east coast.”

She then adds, “We had many options as to where we could have opened our store but chose Rahway because we wholeheartedly believe in the revitalization of the downtown and are now excited to be a part of it.   We look forward to partnering with other local businesses and working to give back to the community.”

Many residents and city officials are optimistic about the opening of another business, as Rahway tries to revamp its downtown despite a global recession.  While the city has welcomed new mixed-use projects such as Skyview at Carriage City Plaza (Indigo Hotel) and Park Square to the community, the recession has caused many of the businesses that once lined East Cherry, Irving, and Main Streets to close.

The opening of Kataluma Chai will provide residents with another option over mega chains Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts and provide the city with more tax revenue and downtown foot traffic.

The café specializes in serving chai tea, a black Darjeeling tea from India, with exotic spices in a creamy milk base like a latte.  Kataluma Chai will offer more than 20 flavors including Bourbon Vanilla, Chocolate Comfort, Hugs N Kisses, Irish Cream, Green Tea, and Raspberry Blush.

There is also a non-dairy version of the tea, called “Naturals”, which is just as delicious as the milk based chai but great for people who are allergic to milk or lactose intolerant.  The teas are also available in decaf or no sugar added varieties and can be enjoyed hot, iced, and blended.  Teas to go and gift baskets are also available in the store and online at www.katalumachainj.com.

The Rahway café is the first Kataluma Chai location on the east coast with additional locations in Lakewood, Colo. and Silverdale, Wash.

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