Celebrating Food: Her Cup Runneth Over
Tamika Catchings, an Olympic gold medalist, WNBA MVP, and founder of Catch The Stars—an Indy-based organization empowering youth through a variety of goal-setting programs—is the new owner of Tea's Me Cafe. A quaint and comfortable teashop near downtown, offering some of the finest teas and tisanes from around the world. Last month, I caught up with the former Indiana Fever star and learned why she’s excited about her new venture
SN: Why tea?
TC: The health benefits associated with tea have kept me (drinking tea), but I can honestly say that my sister and I used to have tea parties with her dolls … I hated the dolls, but loved the tea (fake back then of course). As time wore on, my sis and I would trade time for playing with dolls and having tea parties for shooting hoops: one of ball equaled a one hour tea party. LOL
SN: Do you have a favorite tea?
TC: At the shop it’s Tropical Cyclone. It's just so yummy!! I always feel like it's just taking me "somewhere."
SN: Milk or no milk?
TC: No milk.
TC: Heavy sweetener : )
SN: Do you remember the first time you ever tried tea? Was it hot? Cold?
TC: My mom always used to make us Sun Tea. I remember watching her make it in the house, putting it in the pitcher … it had to stay outside in the sun for hours at a time. I couldn't wait to sip on that tea. We LOVED it!! And, it was the best tea EVER!!!
SN: Do you drink coffee too? I know so many people that are either tea drinkers or coffee drinkers, but not both—it’s like red wine or white. Kinda silly, don’t you think?
TC: It is kind of silly to have to choose one or the other, but I am not a coffee drinker. I've never gotten into coffee, and I prefer either tea or hot chocolate : )
SN: And since summer’s right around the corner, I just gotta ask, do you remember the Lipton ice-tea plunge? Did you ever flop backwards like that into a pool when you were a kid?
TC: No, I don't remember the Lipton ice-tea plunge, but as far as diving into the pool, I'm somewhat of a daredevil, so even without the challenge I would do it. LOL
SN: OK. Switching gears a bit, tell what else you’re doing now that you’ve retired from the game? I know you’re passionate about helping central Indiana youth. What can you tell me about your Catch the Stars program?
TC: Wow, what am I doing now ... a little bit of everything. Bought Tea's Me Café Indy in February, took a job with Pacers Sports and Entertainment as Director of Player Programs and Franchise Development for the Pacers, Fever and MadAnts, a lot of speaking engagements, and YES ... Catch the Stars Foundation.
We recently gave out $24,000 to three local youth to assist in their post high school education. Because of my excitement though, I agreed to match our scholar athlete scholarships and add an additional $1,000 to our Community Star Scholar. So, each of our scholar athletes will receive $5,000 a year, totaling a $20,000 scholarship, and our Community Star Scholar went from a $4,000 scholarship to $5,000. I love the impact we continue to make through our foundation, and I'm always anxious to keep investing in our youth.
SN: Encouraging today’s youth to move more is so important—only a handful will ever be professional athletes yet alone college athletes, but it doesn’t matter … a healthy lifestyle and a good fitness level is imperative to how they will live their lives as they grow. How do you help motivate kids?
TC: We have quite a few programs that hit on fitness and health overall. Our mission with the foundation is to prepare our youth to catch their dreams one star at a time through programming focusing on fitness, literacy and mentoring. When I look back at my life and the success that I've had, I can definitely say those are three areas that helped me achieve success.
SN: Lastly, congratulations on your first year of marriage. You celebrated your anniversary this past February, correct?
TC: Thank YOU!! Yes, we were married on February 7th, 2016 (they decided to have the Superbowl on our wedding day SMH LOL).
SN: And does your husband drink tea?
TC: My husband didn't drink tea, BUT now he loves it!! But, only from Tea's Me Indy ; )
SN: Naturally : )
Tea’s Me Café |140 E 22nd St., Indianapolis | TeasMeIndy.com