Matcha Magic
Matcha Magic owner, Rachel Barnecut

Rachel Barnecut opened Matcha Magic in 2022 as the first “plant-forward” matcha bar in Bellevue. Rachel worked a 9 to 5 job for 9 years and didn’t always know that she wanted to open her own cafe. With her family and fiancé’s support, Rachel took on the challenge to create something for herself and her community through revolutionizing matcha drinks.

Rachel came up with the name Matcha Magic to convey a sense of playfulness and magical fun.

Before Matcha Magic 

Rachel grew up in the Greater Seattle area and attended the University of Washington for both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering. Rachel worked at Boeing as a UX specialist for almost a decade after graduation.

“I was good at my job, I could[‘ve] kept doing [it] for a while but it [was] not interesting there anymore. It was time to do something more challenging.”

Back in 2020, Rachel and her fiancé visited Asia where their passion for matcha sparked. They entertained the idea of opening a matcha cafe. Rachel’s fiancé had past restaurant experience and encouraged her to take the lead and open the cafe. In November 2021, she left her job at Boeing to sign the lease.

“It was scary to leave [a career] that was so safe. My mom and dad were just like ‘You can do it and you can always go back.’ It’s a challenging risk to take but I [was] willing to take it.”

Rachel donates 5% of all sales to Ladies That Launch, an organization that funds women-owned small businesses to help them get their business ventures started.

“I think it is amazing to open a business … and it’s only the right thing to give back to people who are similar to me, to help them in their own ventures. I am fortunate to have that support system, some may or [may] not.”

Matcha Magic drink

The Start of Matcha Magic

At her cafe, Rachel wanted to make something magical: ‘potions’ with different adaptogens, herbal pharmaceuticals, and collagen powders. She spent her time researching what ingredients are beneficial for people. 

“That was the base of it all, but how do we make it fun? I want to reintroduce and educate people about matcha. I want to replicate what is offered at a coffee house – but with matcha.”

Caramel macchiatos excited Rachel the most. In college she worked at Starbucks, which gave her some insight into being a barista and what people like to order. 

“It’s everywhere. How can we elevate such a well-loved drink and make it taste good and have good benefits?”

Beyond Matcha: The Community 

After its soft opening, Matcha Magic had overwhelming support from the community.

“I’m super grateful and I didn’t expect it. I had a low bar [for myself]. That is where it was a huge risk and it paid off. For all the people driving really far to come here was so rewarding. “

Located in the quaint and quiet area of Old Bellevue, Matcha Magic is a friendly, cozy space for regulars. Rachel feels very grateful that Matcha Magic was so quickly integrated into the community. 

“When we first opened it was all friends and families. They start as strangers, now we recognize them, so it is our own community.

Rachel sees a vivid future for Matcha Magic and plans to open more locations.

“It is exciting, and I am basking in my success and in my moment. I’m excited to expand the menu and offer more so we can have fun partnerships locally and with other female-founded businesses”. 

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