Nippon Cha

Renjie Piao worked in marketing and design prior to opening Nippon Cha Bayside, a Japanese restaurant in Queens, in 2016. This location was successful, and in 2022 he expanded with a new location in Brooklyn with a sole focus on beverages (particularly Japanese tea and coffee) and desserts. Changqi Li, a minority owner of the Brooklyn location with extensive experience managing food establishments, also helps manage the business day to day.

Both Katana Matcha LLC and its sister location in Queens are official partners of the U.S. arm of Nippon Cha, a Japanese-based tea retailer and wholesaler that sells high-quality, Japanese-grown and produced teas and matchas. Katana Matcha LLC has an exclusive supplier agreement with Nippon Cha US, and both locations are extremely well-reviewed by customers on platforms such as Google and Yelp.

Mr. Piao first met with Renaissance in 2022, prior to Katana Matcha’s grand opening, and returned in 2023 to seek financing to aid in the business’s growth, as it was still in a start-up phase. Renaissance worked with him and Mr. Li, and was ultimately able to approve the business for $100,000 in financing. In addition to aiding with day to day operations, this financing helped cover the cost of purchasing a soft serve freezer/dispenser, allowing the business to meet a growing demand for matcha soft serve ice cream, further diversifying their product offerings.

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