In Taiwan in the 1980s, tea vendors began mixing fruit flavoring with tea. To get the flavor right, they shook the mix of tea and flavoring, causing bubbles to form in the drink. "Bubble tea" was born. Over time, the term has come to also represent cold tea with flavored pearls of tapioca and chocolate. In either incarnation, the drinks have taken Asia by storm.
Enter Cape Girardeau resident James Nguyen, who is set to bring that drink sensation to Southeast Missouri. He recently signed a lease for the shop at 820 N. Sprigg St., formerly home of DC'z Cafe. There he plans to open Cafe 'N' Me, an Asian snack and coffee shop that will serve espresso, coffee and its own concoctions of bubble tea, including strawberry, mango and peppermint. The shop will offer a variety of small Asian snack foods, including curry puffs.
Nguyen estimates the opening date to be in mid-December.
Whitfield's is reborn: Twelve years ago, Ronald and Elma Staten bought the old Victorian house at 220 Independence St. in Cape Girardeau, where they started Whitfield's Restaurant. Now, two years since the restaurant closed due to an illness in the family, the now-healthy Statens have opened the house's doors anew, this time as Whitfield's His and Her's Boutique. They held a grand opening on Saturday.
Elma Staten said the house was built in 1885 by a riverboat captain who lived with his wife and, she suspects, his sister. She suspects this because of clues she has pieced together in the house's abstract and the way in which the house is set up. The building is essentially split in two and has a pair of everything -- two basements and two sets of stairs to the second floor. But the quirky feature does set up the store's separation of men's and women's apparel.
Elma Staten said that since Hecht's closed in March, she's noticed Cape Girardeau's need for a store that offers couture apparel. Having the empty building, the Statens and Elma's sister, Nikki Henson, decided to take the plunge and fill that niche.
Family businesses merging on Broadway: For the past 18 months, Cape Girardeau residents Brian and Linda Randolph and their son, Johnny Carter, had run two separate specialty shops in Paducah, Ky. But now they've decided to bring their respective businesses back home and try their different trades in the same shop.
"We figured we'd split the rent and see how things go," said Carter.
The experiment will take place at 821A Broadway, and will collectively be called Broadway Accessories and Collectibles.
Carter's half of the business is called JNP Accessories. He and his fiancee, Pam Page, deal in sports memorabilia. They also offer a limited assortment religious collectibles, incense and candles.
Meanwhile, the Randolphs are setting up their half of the shop as Shed Collectibles. Their specialty is NASCAR memorabilia.
The plan was to be open by the end of last week at the latest, so they could be open for the Southeast Missouri State University Homecoming parade. While the doors will be open, the large metal sign that will denote the family venture won't be up for two or three weeks.
River Ridge releases new wine list: As the weather turns cold and connoisseurs turn their attention to the warmth a glass of wine can provide, River Ridge Winery is releasing several new vintages for the palate. Jerry Smith, winemaker and part-owner of the Commerce, Mo., winery, said he's ready to bring out a 2002 Cynthiana, a 2002 Syrah, a 2002 Zinfandel, a 2003 Sauvignon Blanc and a 2002 Joie de Riviere. The latter is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec. All of these are made and bottled at the Commerce winery from locally grown grapes.
Tony Rehagen is the business editor for the Southeast Missourian. Send your comments, business news, information or questions to Tony Rehagen, 301 Broadway, Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63702-0699, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 335-6611, extension 137.