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Fortune Small Business Reports: Tea Cozy- With help from his friends, an entrepreneur creates spaces for lingering.

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Tea Cozy: With help from his friends, an entrepreneur creates spaces for lingering.

By Megan Erickson
September 1, 2009

(Fortune Small Business) –At Samovar Tea Lounge, a chain of three teahouses in San Francisco, you’ll find no wireless Internet or bulletin board littered with local news and advertisements.

“The goal is to create relationships with customers where they become guests — or friends,” says CEO Jesse Jacobs, a dot-com veteran who opened the first Samovar, in the Castro/Mission district during the 2001 tech crash. “Our design reflects that. We try to provide a cocoon from the outside world, so we need more than just a few chairs and a Formica countertop.”

Seating space at the teahouse’s bamboo tables is intentionally tight. Jacobs, who built his shops without consulting professional designers, says the setup encourages patrons to mingle and try menu items that beckon from neighbors’ plates.

“It’s easy to overhear conversations, but that’s good,” says copywriter Paul Tootalian, 42, a regular customer. “There’s a real community feel.”

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Inc. Magazine Fastest Growing Companies – Samovar Made the List!

Inc. Magazine Fastest Growing Companies – WeInc. 500|| 5000 Fastest Growing Companies: Samovar Tea Lounge Made the List!

Samovar Tea Lounge joins an elite group of companies across America as they have made the 2009 Inc. Magazine 5000 list of fastest-growing companies. Over the last six years, Samovar has grown its staff to over 60 employees and to three San Francisco locations.

We’d like to thank all of our customers for contributing to our rapid and prosperous growth!

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Forbes Visits Samovar: Personal Best -Tea Drinking Techies

Forbes Video Network Visits Samovar Tea Lounge to investigate the role of tea in lives of Silicon Valley Techies.

Jesse Jacobs, founder of Samovar, Kevin Rose, founder of Digg.com, Tim Ferriss author of The 4-Hour Workweek, explain why people are getting into tea in these fast-paced times.

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