Pink Door tea house brings tea time to life | Business

Twenty-six years after Kimberly Ann’s tearoom opened, Mae Collins sold it last year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Her neighbor, insurance agent Lupe Encinas, continues the English tradition with The Pink Door Tea House in the same space.

“It’s so cute,” Encinas said. “I had never really had a snack before, and now I have one every day. “

She bought the building after a private investor who wanted to convert it into a residential house withdrew from the sale.

“I didn’t know anything about tea when I first started,” said Encinas, owner of Cactus State Insurance. “All I know, being in my community, I’m Latina, all I know is herbal tea.

“But here, what I’ve learned and what I’m still learning is that tea is meant to be something that you sit down and relax (to enjoy). I’m always on the move so it’s a very difficult thing for me as a mom and as a business owner.

While the official inauguration took place in March, before reopening, the building was renovated. Encinas said several walls had been demolished to create a more open concept, an open kitchen had been created, and an outdoor patio had been added to the side of the building.

“The construction so far was definitely the best part, because there are so many possibilities, so many different ways to start a business,” said Encinas. “What I learned and what I really like are all the memories and experiences that we are going to be able to pass on to the client.”

Designated rooms throughout the building include the Queen’s Parlor at the front, the Grand Tea Room, and the Princess Room which caters to ‘little tea drinkers’. In the Queen’s Salon, there is a painting of two Victorian-clad women having tea.

“I asked a local artist – these are the owners of Art of Fire in Peoria – I asked them to paint a picture that I would put in the beautiful room,” Encinas said.

She gave no indication of what she wanted to paint, as she is “not an artist and I don’t know what to do”.

“I found out that she added me,” Encinas explained. “This (painting) represents the former owners who taught me tea. She passes her knowledge on and passes it on so that I can continue, and I love that and the performance, and they made me look good.

The Pink Door Tea House serves a range of loose tea options, including its signature Pink Door green tea available hot or iced. Highlights are the afternoon tea menus.

Customers can choose between Elegant, Garden, Classic or Prince & Princess snacks. Each menu includes a variety of sandwiches, salads and desserts to accompany the tea chosen by customers. Breakfast and lunch are served outside of the afternoon tea menu and can be ordered to go.

“My favorite tea so far, I have to say, is the Pink Door, but I generally do, as I’m still learning, like my black teas,” Encinas said. “I like them strong, so the Chinese Pinhead is something I always recommend.”

Before selling his business, Collins passed on his 26 years of knowledge to Encinas to help him get started.

“We’re just trying to bring people in from the community and teach people like me about tea,” Encinas said. “There are a lot of us there. “

The name reflects “something simple”.

“I wanted something that, as you drive, kind of stands out, something simple,” she said. “I have three boys, so pink is something I had to get used to. That’s why you see green (on the walls), because it’s my comfort color.

Encinas chose pink as one of its soft color palettes and painted the front door the same color, creating the name of the company. The biggest challenge was finding fine china tea sets.

“I found out pretty quickly that you can’t just walk into a store and find fine china,” Encinas said. “I started shopping around for antique shops and couldn’t find the quality I wanted to bring.

She found exactly what she was looking for during her first real estate sale that she visited. It was at the home of a woman who was moving into an assisted living facility.

“This house looked like it had everything I needed in the photos they posted table after table after table of little teacups and sets,” Encinas said. “The description of them was exactly what I was looking for.” She made an offer for each set available, as well as an assortment of furniture that is also used in the tea house.

“It’s his collection of life,” Encinas explained. “Every time her family traveled to different countries and states, they brought him a new set.

“I bought it and they told her he was going to a tea house and she was so happy. I told her that whenever COVID slows down, she is welcome here to see where all of her beloved possessions have gone. “

Encinas hopes to offer several tea-related events, including an “Alice in Wonderland” themed event on Saturday, November 6.

” I’m a sociable person. I love being part of the community and participating in events with people, ”said Encinas. “It suits me so well because I can do it all here.

“I can help people create memories and keep that legacy alive. I hope I represent the previous owner like she did, and I want it to last another 27 years.

Comments are closed.