Holy Matcha Founder Geraldine Ridaura Shares Her Motivation to Open a Matcha Cafe

San Diego Latina entrepreneur shares her motivation to open the trendiest tea cafe in San Diego

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If you live in San Diego there is no way you haven’t heard of Holy Matcha. Nestled in the heart of North Park, it’s a beautifully curated tea cafe with fresh flowers, chic gold furniture, and all the employees are vibing to SZA. You can feel the warmth when you walk in. That is the goal for Holy Matcha Founder’s Geraldine Ridaura.

I had the pleasure of meeting Geraldine when I went in for their famous matcha. She takes the time to genuinely greet every customer, gives her best matcha suggestions based on customer’s likes, and shares motivating business advice on her Instagram! Geraldine is from Mexico City and moved to San Diego where she attended the University of San Diego.

Geraldine does not shy from sharing her wonderful Mexican culture and has even created a Horchata Matcha based on her mother’s traditional recipe. We talked about the importance of representing your culture with pride and her inspiring success. Latina entrepreneurship has grown 87% since 2007, making us the fastest-growing demographic and Geraldine’s shares her knowledge with us.

Holy Matcha Founder Geraldine Ridaura

Getting to know Geraldine Ridaura

We’ve been following Holy Matcha and you on Instagram. We admire your hustle, your openness, and your love for Kendrick Lamar. We are grateful to be meeting with you. Who would be your dream meeting?

Thank you so much for following along and for your support! I love the hustle. Even when I sometimes complain, I sure do love it, and of course listening to Kendrick Lamar makes it SO MUCH EASIER. Your question is such a tough one, since I basically want to meet with over a dozen people and drill them with questions and pick their brain. I’d have to say that I’d be torn between Marcus Lemonis or Gwyneth Paltrow.

What job or experience prepared you for opening up Holy Matcha?

I studied business administration at the University of San Diego and I’ve had my fair share of demanding managers in the past. I could have been trained by the best manager in the world, but honestly, nothing really “prepares” you for opening a business if you lack the drive and the passion.

What advice would you share with other women planning on opening their own business?

Like I mentioned above, you have to have that drive and passion. Once you have those two things, everything else has a solution or an answer. Hustle hustle, ask questions, hustle more. The process is frustrating, and you’ll have those bad days which go hand in hand with owning a business, but at the end of the day, looking at what you created after hustling is beyond anything in this world.

I am inspired by women such as Angela Davis and Mariana Costa Checa, and I can’t forget to mention my mom. Who do you draw inspiration from?

That is wonderful. I’m certainly inspired hands down by my mother and father, if it weren’t for them I would’ve be who I am today, value wise, hustle wise, mindset wise. I’m also really inspired by Oprah and Princess Diana.

What role has your personal identity or cultural traditions played in your determination to achieve your goals?

My personal identity is greatly shaped and influenced by my cultural and family traditions.  They have played a prominent role in my being determined to achieve my goals since I was old enough to start setting goals and standards. The expectation of achievement and surpassing standards has been with me since my childhood. Inheriting your cultural values, then living the definition of what these mean to you and family, made me realize early on in life that ethics, trustworthiness, personal development and setting and achieving goals was who I was.

Do you mind sharing an experience where someone assumed you weren’t a Founder and CEO of a successful company and how you handled that?

Oh dear, which experience should I share, there’s been so many!!! (Laughing out loud) I’ll share two quickly:

  1. During the build out process I’d come in every single morning to see how everything was going, but the very first time when we broke ground and I walked in at 5:00 a.m. one of the construction workers acknowledged my presence and asked “are you the owner’s daughter?” I immediately said no and he looked shocked. I then told him that I was the business owner and that I was coming in to see how everything is going… his face was blank.
  2. We had opened and business was flowing per usual, and a customer approached me and asks if she can speak with the manager or owner. I then offered to help her with whatever she may need and she insisted on speaking with the owner. By then I told her I was the owner and she didn’t believe me, she said I was too young and didn’t “look” like a business owner. This situation was a million times more awkward than the construction worker story.

To both of these stories and all the others I’ve had, I never take it personal. I know who I am and what I’ve done, so I am not here to show off that I am the owner nor to be sad if someone doesn’t know that. Sometimes I even take it as a compliment: I’m in my late twenties so if someone cannot believe that I am the owner because I look too young.

Let’s talk about work/life balance! What struggles do you face and how do you overcome them?

You mean work/work balance? Every day is a different struggle and the way I overcome it is by tackling one thing at a time. I’m a bit of a workaholic so I always put work ahead of anything/everything and it’s something I’ve been trying to change. I’ve started to workout to gain mental clarity and mediate so that I can take on all the demanding tasks at hand. So far, it’s been a work in progress.

What was the inspiration behind the design and look of your brand, pink floral interior? Which we absolutely love by the way!

Thank you my dear! Well, I grew up with a lot plants in my life so I knew I had to add those babies in the cafe and I love pink, who doesn’t? It turns out that light pink and the green from the plants go extremely well together and I just kept on going from there and formed something that I thought was beautiful, loved it very much, and hoped for everyone to like it as well.

What are the five top qualities you look for when hiring?

Someone that is detail oriented, outgoing, reliable, hard working and trustworthy. You can train an employee on your product/service, but you can’t train someone to have integrity, resiliency and a strong work ethic. The smaller the business, the more crucial and important the hire will be.

What are you working on right now that you are most excited about?

I just got engaged!! So I’m on cloud nine and currently planning all the details for the wedding which will be this summer in Italy!