Entrepreneur Spotlight: Lenny Martinelli, Boulder Teahouse
On an unseasonably warm day, the DSM team stopped by the Boulder Teahouse for a cold drink and a friendly chat with Teahouse owner, Lenny Martinelli. In addition to an excellent drink, we were able to soak in the unique history behind the establishment, alongside great company. We soon learned that we were participating in the exact cultural purpose intended: a gathering place for friends to catch up over a cup of tea.
Lenny began by informing us that the Teahouse was specifically created for Boulder by their sister city, Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Sister Cities International is a program that works to connect and strengthen relationships between U.S. and international communities. Dushanbe’s gift to Boulder was a completely original, handcrafted building. “It’s the only one in the Western Hemisphere!” chimed Lenny.
Sadly, the beautiful features were not seen until 8 years after their arrival in the States. It was a slow moving process until Lenny jumped on the opportunity. “The day it opened, everyone’s tune changed,” said Lenny. The frustrations with the construction turned into comments such as “why wait so long!” The citizens of Boulder were overjoyed with the new, unique element to their city.
The entire interior and exterior of the building was hand painted and carved (no power tools used) in Tajikistan. The structure would take days to truly analyze each and every artistic feature. From the walls, pillars and ceilings, to the exterior, the building is solely constructed with artwork. Lenny expressed that the beauty of the building is not only what can be seen with the naked eye, but the cultural significance that undoubtedly followed.
Denver Style Magazine: What is your favorite drink here, and what food would you suggest?
Lenny Martinelli: “My favorite drink is the chai, it is well loved! I don’t tell people what to eat, I want them to have their own experience.”
The Boulder Teahouse offers an extensive cultural experience, by providing a wide selection of world cuisine. Lenny believes choosing your own dish adds to the cultural experience. (However, he will give a great review of the chai tea.)
In addition to the Boulder Teahouse, Lenny has proven to be an extremely successful business owner. Three Leaf Concepts is a management group that was formed specifically to support the 7 restaurants in Boulder and Louisville owned by Lenny and Sara Martinelli, and Jerry Manning. Check out any of their establishments for a wonderful dining experience!