La Crosse small business owner merges her tea shop with coffee shop

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Running any small business requires knowledge and opportunity.

“I’ve been going through my health journey for the past, probably 15 years now,” La Crosse small business owner Tippi Luangpraseuth said.

Not really for exercise, but rather to focus on health and wellness.

“To really dive in to what’s in our foods and overall health,” Tippi said.

About three years ago, Tippi, who was working at the Dim Sum Tea Shop, discovered it was up for sale.

“So that was a great opportunity for me and I wasn’t expecting it,” Tippi said.

She took the chance.

“I just loved the tea shop,” Tippi said.

But those feelings of excitement and joy soon turned into sorrow.

“When the pandemic hit, it was a really hard decision,” Tippi said.

Tippi had to close up shop for two months. When she reopened, it was for curbside pick-up only.

“I just kept saying to myself, ‘just one day at a time,'” Tippi said. ‘”Just take it one day and see how it goes.'”

Time was running out.

“I wasn’t ready to quit yet,” Tippi said. “But I needed to do something drastically to survive.”

What was an idea became a golden opportunity.

“I’m like I hope that people don’t think it’s an April Fools’ joke,” Tippi said.

Tippi merged her Tea Shop with Global Grounds Coffee on the first day of April.

“The response has been incredible,” she said.

From college-aged customers and workers.

“I’m happy that we’re going to continue to serve everything that we have been, and kind of service the community especially those regulars that I’ve come to love so much,” Global Grounds Coffee & Tea Shop worker Rachel Stock said. “If I end up do staying in La Crosse, I will 100 percent be working here. It’s one of my favorite places. It’s a second home.”

“I’ve gotten a lot of responses about, ‘Oh, thank goodness. We thought that you we’re going to be done. But we’re very happy, it’s a great news. And these are like my two favorite places merging together.’ That’s just perfect,” Tippi said.

Not surprising to hear either, because now Tippi can continue pursuing her dreams of serving that perfect cup of tea.

There are some safety guidelines right now. Tippi says no more than groups of six can dine at a time, and every other table is open for seating.

She says business has been steady.