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Teased by Tea- My Six-Year Anniversary with Lady Baker's Tea Trolley

Six Years with You     TEASED by TEA     Katherine Burnett

It’s 6 years on Dec. 1 that I have stood every Saturday in my little shop on the corner in the Charlottetown Farmers’ Market! The best part for me is sharing my love of the tea experience with so many patrons. I started with 16 teas as suggested in a tea time tutorial, knowing at that time, that PEIslanders were not as likely to indulge in the more exotic and expensive teas as they would in the good old hearty black orange pekoe grades. But what a lovely surprise it has been to gradually grow the product line to over 60 types of the camellia sinensis plant, some herbals and then to explore blending my own. It is so real to me that I have just scratched the surface of the huge and healthy tea market.

Operating a small business has been mentally challenging, keeping a small space functional has been frustrating at times and machinery malfunctions have caused some headaches. But I amaze myself at my new found knowledge of business and finances, inventory and shelf space design and most of all, I am amused at my own handywoman skills!

There is always humour in my business experience to alleviate the pressures. I started collecting funny experiences, entering them into the Journal of the Deaf Tea Lady. I am, indeed, hearing impaired. Someone asked if I had any orange green pickle tea and I fumbled around trying to explain that I wasn’t familiar with a pickle-flavoured tea. She was asking for an orange creamsicle flavoured tea. I’m still laughing. Then I mentioned the Lady’s Slipper blend to a patron who thought I said Lady’s Stripper blend and wondered what inspired a name like that. On another occasion, I was asked “where’s the washroom” and I responded with a high five and said, “Yes, we’re awesome!”

Tea brings a comfort I cannot explain. Tea brings worlds together. My own tea times, whether in solitude or with others, have brought peace of mind and hope.

Happy 6th birthday to me and all of my tea friends! It’s been a pleasure!

 
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