Even though the not so tiny anymore town of Sant Cugat (Barcelona) really is worth a visit, you don’t have to wander too far inside the town to enjoy a good bite after a full day of work. La Tasseta –In English, the “Little Cup”– has that kind of atmosphere that makes you wonder who could have ever created such a cozy place.
And you only have to turn left to find out: behind the counter, with a sweet smile and some sort of baking gadget in their hands, are Juana and Patricia. Mother and daughter and business partners, they began their epic journey just nine months ago.
It all started when Patricia, who had graduated with a degree and Master’s in Clinic Nutrition, started looking for a permanent job. And this will be little surprise to any Spaniard – due to the poor economy and budget cuts in Spanish sanitation, she went through a lot of trouble to find one. Nothing permanent ever came up; and finally, she decided to start her own business.
After an entrepreneurship course and a lot of work, she and her mom – her newfound business partner – got the town hall’s approval of the project. And no wonder, only nine months later La Tasseta is already a favorite of many people in Sant Cugat.
It all starts with the scents. Right near the entry there’s a bouquet of lavender which, with its purpely color and sweet aroma makes you already feel relaxed. But then you notice the décor, and it really is hard not to let your eyes wander around the room like a tourist in a new city.
The whole concept of the coffee shop is a Parisian-inspired room which is classy but still cozy. A place where people can relax and take off whatever pressures worry them. And while chatting with Juana, we found out that they have pretty much accomplished their goals: a great example of this is the fact that many moms come into the shop when they need to breastfeed and don’t have time to go home. That’s how comforting the ambience of this place is; and that, really, is why we love it.
While enjoying some Nutella Crepes – the best in Sant Cugat, we would dare to say– and a homemade juice, we told Juana that we were curious to know what this mother and daughter team thought about their own jobs and the place they managed to create. And as they told us, they really couldn’t be happier. Here they were able to expand their passion for cooking and baking. Juana, an artist in her spare time, decorated the walls with her own oil paintings and managed to bring even more character to the coffee shop. Patricia found a new and unexpected use for her degree; and that is because La Tasseta is one of the only coffee shops in Sant Cugat which serves a broad selection of snacks for those who need a special diet. And it all adds up to their philosophy; in here, people do not need to worry or stress about anything.
Juana had to leave us for a moment when a client walked in and asked for a smoothie. And even though there are a ton of options in the menu, she offered to make whatever the young girl wanted with the ingredients she had in the kitchen. There was a smile on her face the whole time. And later on she explained to us – this is not the first time she’s had a job with full-on contact with customers. It is the first time for Patricia, though; and as they told us, they are both enjoying it to the fullest.
It was then getting a bit late and we asked them one last question: “what is a piece of advice that you would give to hospitality students considering opening their own business?”
And their answer couldn’t be more according to their sweet personality: the place you create will be –and has to be– your lifestyle, not your moneymaker. You have to enjoy it and have fun exploring the opportunities it will open for you. Because people are not stupid: If you don’t like the business you created, they will sense it and most likely never come back. And we really couldn’t agree more with their perspective. After all, what is better than managing to find a way of building your own future, of being your own person?
We certainly can’t wait to get there.