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New Tea’s Me Cafe location opens in April

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Tea’s Me Cafe will open a new location at Tarkington Park on April 1. The cafe’s second location will be called Tea’s Me Community Cafe.

By moving into the park, which already has a cafe that Tea’s Me will operate out of, the company will join the Tarkington Park Partnership, which includes the MLK Center, Midtown Indy and The Parks Alliance of Indianapolis.

“Our goal is to be a place that connects the community,” said Tauja Catchings, who is overseeing the opening of the new location, “and not only provide food and beverages but some programming and events and different opportunities for youth and families.”

Catchings’ sister, Tamika Catchings, is the owner of Tea’s Me Cafe and also started the nonprofit, Catch the Stars Foundation, which will also be involved at Tarkington Park.

Catch the Stars Foundation will host a free youth basketball clinic noon-3 p.m. at the park to celebrate the opening. Learn more and register at catchthestars.org.

The foundation, which started in 2004, has always been involved with Indianapolis parks, Catchings said. That’s a big reason it made sense to open a second Tea’s Me location at a park.

“It felt like the perfect opportunity and perfect fit,” she said.

Jenny Cash, vice president of The Parks Alliance of Indianapolis, said Tea’s Me Community Cafe is another step in bringing Tarkington Park closer to the vision laid out in the park’s master plan in 2012.

The space for a cafe already exists at the park, but there has only been a temporary business — an ice cream shop — last year.

“It was always intended to be a community cafe, and Tea’s Me really brought that community partnership element to the table,” Cash said.

Plus, it’s never a bad thing to have four-time Olympic gold medalist and Hall of Famer Tamika Catchings involved.

“She is just such a staple in the Indianapolis community,” Cash said. “She’s a wonderful advocate for volunteerism, youth empowerment, equity, all of those things.”

The Parks Alliance of Indianapolis (formerly Indianapolis Parks Foundation) oversees programming, maintenance and operations at Tarkington Park, 45 W. 40th St.
The cafe will be open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Saturday. A portion of the proceeds will go toward operations and maintenance at the park.

Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.

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