June 24, 2019 ~ For our Denver friends, you probably know we closed our Tea Room (yes, the actual restaurant), on May 12. It’s been over a month since I’ve arrived at 5:00 a.m. to start the baking, and I’m not sure when I’ll stop feeling that I’m late or I’ve forgotten to enter somebody’s event on the calendar.
There’s a lot I immediately missed: All the customers who became friends. Customers I met only once or twice. Planning special event details with my sister, Molly. Sharing recipes. Creating new menus for the different seasons and events. Giving advice on tea and how to steep it properly. Getting ready for the craziness of the holidays or Mother’s Day.
And then there’s a lot that I don’t miss at all: Payroll, scheduling, troubleshooting equipment issues. Getting up at 4:00 a.m. and going to bed at midnight, hiring, mean customers, grocery shopping, employee call-outs.
My dream to own a tea room came from my love of serving others, and I mean literally serving others a meal or cup of tea. I’m one of those who enjoys being a server. After I started the catering business in 2006, I realized how much I enjoyed baking and cooking for others as well. My business became more of a social outlet than I realized, and soon customers became repeat customers and friends.
So after 14 years of serving tea others, I’m now semi-retired, and, man, is it strange. I still have a lot planned for the rest of the year, but taking the normal 12+ hours at the tea room out of my day, makes it seem like I’ve got nothing to do.
This summer we have our tea classes scheduled at the Denver Botanic Gardens, and this will be our 7th year. We love this event since we get to be outside in the beautiful Woodlands Solarium and the Annuals Garden. My tea talk is informative but a lot of fun, and the abbreviated tea service we provide is a nice treat for all who attend the class.
I’ll also be catering private tea parties and events for longstanding small business customers. Catering has always been a nice change of pace from the daily running of the tea room, and I enjoy getting out to different homes and venues. The catering menu has more variety and it’s nice to make something other than the daily tea room menu. For whatever reason, catering is just much more relaxed than what I’m used to.
My sister, Molly, is also retiring, sort of. She’s still going to help me with all the catering and events we have planned, so she won’t be bored. We both have grandchildren and plan to spend lots of time playing with those babies. And, of course, if you know Molly, you know she’ll be at every home Rockies game, if at all possible.
We have plans to start an e-commerce site to sell our Cream Scone Mix and teas. I don’t know anything about creating a website, so I’m leaving that to a web designer. I do know a lot about retailing our products and will stick to that and creating a satisfying catalog. But that will be later on in the year.
For now, I’m just checking in to let you know what I’m up to. If you were in the tea room frequently, I miss you already. Chai!