Astoria catering and event company Tealicious Inc. has a new home: T-Studio, an event space at 38-01 23rd Ave., and the Merendino sisters are ready to introduce even more people in their hometown to their extensive knowledge of tea.
Tealicious Inc. specializes in afternoon tea, high tea and cocktail parties for events such as bridal and baby showers as well as corporate and fashion events. With this company, founded in 1997, sisters and certified tea sommeliers Robin and Geniene Merendino have put a modern spin on the age-old tradition of afternoon and high tea.
The Merendino family has been in the business of tea for quite some time. Robin Merendino said that she and her mother worked in the tea room of the iconic Mayfair Hotel for over a decade. When the hotel was sold, the Merendino family already had an illustrious list of clients when Robin and Geniene decided to start their own business.
Tealicious’ menu is filled with tea-infused items ranging from ice cream to mini sliders with tea-infused barbecue sauce. The inspiration for these menu items stemmed from Robin Merendino and renowned Chef Julian Medina creating a tea-infused cocktail menu for an event for Ryan Serhant of Million Dollar Listing.
Because Tealicious Inc. doesn’t supply typical full-service sit-down meals, customers who seek out Tealicious Inc. for their catering needs are looking for lighter bites. That made it natural for the Merendino sisters to offer dairy-free and gluten-free options, since many of their customers are seeking out healthier options.
“This is what Tealicious does,” Robin Merendino said. “We made it healthier because a lot of people overdo it on the cakes with their afternoon tea. We’re diet conscious.”
After traveling the world and studying the multiple uses for tea for the past five years, Robin and Geniene Merendino decided they wanted to get back to the tea as opposed to their signature tea events.
“We really learned a lot, especially about different cultures,” Robin Merendino said. “There’s so much more to the world of tea.”
The two sisters learned to pick, prepare and manufacture their own tea. With their extensive knowledge, they decided to introduce their own signature tea line, Rolling Leaf, which stems from the actual process of rolling tea when manufacturing it for consumption.
After visiting multiple tea producing factories and plantations, Robin Merendino is determined to address the human rights issues surrounding women and children workers at tea plantations around the world.
“We want to make the world a better place,” Robin Merendino said. The sisters only conduct business with manufacturers who treat their laborers fairly.
The Tealicious company has found a home in the historic Astoria Silk Works building. T-Studio is an indoor and outdoor loft space that is available for booking catered tea or non-tea events. To Robin Merendino, it’s the perfect blank space to create any type of event for her clients.
“I’m very excited to be in Astoria because I feel a connection to it,” she said about choosing Astoria as the home of her business. “I can bring something to the community. … There’s something about welcoming people in your home.”
Tealicious has just begun to take bookings into 2018 for their new event space. Robin Merendino also announced that T-Studio is will be hosting different events centered around tea in order to educate Astoria residents on how to properly consume it.
“Tea is very popular around the world, specifically afternoon tea service,” Robins Merendino said. “We’re really trying to introduce it to the neighborhood.”
For more information on Tealicious Inc. or to book an event, contact Robin Merendino at email@example.com.