Specialty Coffee Retailer

Specialty Coffee Retailer November 2012

Specialty Coffee Retailer is a publication for owners, managers and employees of retail outlets that sell specialty coffee. Its scope includes best sales practices, supplies, business trends and anything else to assist the small coffee retailer.

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/92590

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Page 41 of 43

GREEN GABLES TEA ROOM Beaufort, N.C. BY BRENDA PORTER-ROCKWELL mercenary holed up on land, now off ers a slower, gentler way of life, perfect for the Green Gables Tea Room. Nestled on North Carolina's Crystal Coast, Beaufort, no T he pirate Blackbeard likely didn't sip tea as his beverage of choice, but the community in Beaufort, where the longer a home base for pirates, still has some rural outposts to balance out its waterfront. Th e Green Gables Tea Room sits off the road on one of those rural byways. "It's either chicken or feathers around here, Libby Liles. "You just never know what each day is going to bring!" For example, a group of eight strolled in one Saturday ' RSVP and call bagged teas from Harney and Sons. She has even developed her own cheat sheet of brewing times for customers. Her most famous off ering, out of the collection of blacks, s " says owner aſt ernoon with armfuls of presents, ready for a tea party. "I asked if they had a reservation, thinking I had missed something. Th ey said, 'No, but we heard you had a tearoom and we want to have a tea party for a little girl. ahead are not really ingrained down here," Liles jokes. She didn't start out in the tearoom business. In fact, the whites, herbals and matés, is Cupid's Bling, a blend of quality chocolate and cherry in a loose leaf black tea with tiny pearl- like bulbs that shimmer under boiling water. "I ordered it three years ago as a special option for Valentine' Day, and people just fell in love with it," Liles says. "Now I stock it all the time and I have to order twice as much as any other tea." Other popular fl avors are Chocolate Truffl e and Eye of the Tiger, both black teas. She off ers one private label blend called Tina's Passion, which she had specially blended for a customer. "I sent the sample to the customer, who loved it. I loved it so Green Gables Tea Room shares a building with, and is part of, her Kindred Spirit giſt shop. Th e store features new and used cookbooks, handmade quilts, and porcelain tea sets for the home and picnics. Obviously, the names of both businesses are rooted in the Anne of Green Gables series of books by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Th e idea for Liles' tearoom came about in 2007 aſt er a delicious encounter with a chocolate bar a friend shared with her. Liles was so taken with the chocolate that she called the distributor, hoping to sell the bars in the giſt shop. It turned out the cost would be prohibitive, but during that conversation the distributor suggested opening a tearoom, something others had remarked on in the past. Five years later, and with some professional training under her belt, Liles has been serving mostly loose leaf, but off ers a selection of 42 sales, she has no paid employees and works a part-time job to keep the tearoom open. In a pinch she counts on friends as well as her daughter (who lives in another part of the state) for support when large groups book a party. Getting the word out means distributing printed rack cards to local hotels and B&Bs, as well as referrals from friends and associates among the many community and civic groups she belongs to. And just like in the books, there's a side yard surrounded by a little white picket fence where Liles plans to someday off er tea and croquet. In the meantime, the yard serves as a spillover for tea on a breezy summer aſt ernoon. SCR Her tearoom is a labor of love. With the economy squeezing " Liles says. OWNER: Libby Liles Zojirushi water boiler EQUIPMENT: Hamilton Beach stainless steel cordless kettles Green Gables Tea Room 937 Harkers Island Road Beaufort, N.C. 28516 (252) 838-8814 Call for weekly hours much I named it aſt er that loyal customer and started selling it here. Th e blender even loved it so much they started selling it under another name,

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