Dobra Tea will be closing its doors Feb. 9 after five years of serving tea on State Street.
The Dobra Tea franchise, originally founded in the Czech Republic, first opened up shop in Vermont, where Madison Dobra owner Adam Ernst worked at the time. Ernst opened the doors to Dobra Madison more than five years ago.
“The space has regularly been filled for years,” Ernst said. “The business is simply no longer ‘buyable’ and is not a sustainable business anymore monetarily.”
Since the announcement of Dobra going out of business, the shop has been packed with people “all day every day,” Ernst said. He said staff has had to turn people away from the shop because they do not have enough space to accommodate everyone.
Mary Carbine, Business Improvement District executive director, said the closing is indicative of the changing nature of business on State Street. She said it is not unusual to have businesses in the downtown area frequently open up and close.
“I do think this year and right now is a big time of transition we are seeing,” Carbine said. “It is visible on State Street itself, all the construction from the top to bottom of State Street.”
She also said the development of new housing on State Street will be causing much of the retail changes on the street in the years to come. As more people move into the downtown area, their tastes will affect the market, Carbine added.
She said in the entire State Street and Capitol Square area, there are about 350 consumer-oriented small businesses including retail, restaurants, cafes and entertainment. She said the rate at which businesses transition and change on State is consistent with other shopping areas of that size.
“We are certainly are sad to see any businesses close, but some of the character of State Street is that it is always changing and new things always coming in,” Carbine said.