So of course, as many of you already know— MAD HATTER TEA CO. will have a permanent location in just a few weeks. Here's what's happened so far:
We will be located at:
116 Bronte Rd. in Oakville, at the north corner of Bronte and Lakeshore.
This is a huge step for this little-engine-that-could. Since our very humble beginnings, Mad Hatter Tea has also seemed to be in a state of transition. We went from a partnership to a sole business, from market to market, online, in-home and everything in between. It's nice to be able to plant something in the earth, let the feeble roots develop strongly and watch the tree grow.
For years this vision seemed like a pipe dream. I didn't think I could do it, I didn't think I was allowed to. I know that sounds strange, but I've spent a lot of time doing what was expected of me, rather than what fulfilled my own needs and desires.
Years ago I started off with a small business called Bella, I made fresh pasta with all kinds of crazy flavours (sound familiar?) smoked this and that, pumpkin spice, a Buddha blend, a Mother Earth blend, sweet potato gnocchi, you name it, I did and I sold that pasta to whomever wanted to buy it and I loved it. And then I stopped to take on another position, something more promising, because like I said, that was what was expected. That was what I went to school for, that is what I was meant to do. But that just simply wasn't the case. So after doing that for a while and not loving every minute of it...or really any minute of it, I decided to write a book and I loved it and still do. Something about writing stories, creating characters and worlds and colourful patterns of word play just speaks to me. It just oozes out of me, honestly, if you don't have the time, don't let me tell you a short story, there's no such thing! (Can't you tell?)
My writing routine always starts like this:
- Take specific handmade, ceramic looseleaf tea cup, given to me by dear friends, from special cupboard.
- boil water, take perfect teaspoon from drawer and Harrods Flowery Earl Grey tea from freezer, scoop one spoonful into cup.
- Pour boiled water in circular motion over tea leaves, cover with lid.
- Turn on laptop, open Scrivener, select 2-3 manuscripts, scan each manuscript, decide which one to work on.
- Uncover tea, pull out tea filter, add milk till like caramel colour is achieved.
- Take deep breath, inhale sweet, citrusy bergamot scent. Exhale.
- Take a sip. Begin writing.
So, crafting tea was the next most natural thing for me to do alongside writing. And that is what I intend to bring to the tea shop.
I had the privilege of working with the fabulous designer Lisa Canning of Lisa Canning Interiors who took some time out of her busy schedule to help me sort through my kaleidoscope of ideas. She had me do this amazing exercise. It was so simple, yet so hard because it was something I never thought to do when creating my business. She told me to describe Mad Hatter Tea in 5 words, Just 5 that's it. I came up with 3 off the cuff. Together we shaped the last 2. She told me to use those words as a filter so that if ideas, objects, etc. didn't fit into one of the categories than they weren't meant to be used. She stated it would also help with consistency throughout the space and create balance.
MAD HATTER TEA'S FIVE WORDS ARE:
Throughout the space these themes will be highlighted through paint and wallpaper, furnishings, trims and finishes but also in the quality of the products provided. I will continue, as always, to handcraft my tea blends, to package them with love and adoration for each one. Throughout the course of our first year we will introduce all kinds of finery. We'll have tea spice rubs, infused oils and vinegars, recipes, an iced tea bar, late night tea time once a month when we stay open late, play great tunes and serve up some tea cocktails. We'll have weekly gatherings featuring our soon-to-be-released Mummy & Wee line of teas appropriate for the whole family, where young families can come and chill with friends and let the bebes play freely and safely—a nice little break for moms and dads of the wee folk. Everyday we'll have 4 o'clock tea time (it's happy hour, but with tea...but no alcohol...umm, sorry). We'll reintroduce our Afternoon Tea service on Saturdays, by reservation, we'll host private functions on Sundays. Everyday we'll have an array of fresh snacks and light lunch options to fill your bellies with good eats.
I'm telling you, there's so much in store and I can't wait to open our doors and begin this crazy adventure in Wonderland. I'm so grateful to all the people who have offered to help and you have leant their support in this endeavour. I could not have made it this far without all of you. I thank you all in advance for your continued efforts to helping me see this through. I am truly honoured to have such wonderful people in my circle.
Walk each step of this #MHTeaCProject journey with us by following our transformation progress here on this blog and on our Facebook page