The Tea House Times
Retail and wholesale
Cover photo courtesy of The Tea House Times; WTE booth photo by the author
A few years ago I was contacted through my Cat-Tea Corner and TeaGuide websites by someone starting up a new tea-oriented newsletter. That’s not unusual: people contact me all the time with requests, suggestions, and proposals — some good, some not.
The idea for the newsletter was not only to sell subscriptions to individuals, but to provide personalized issues for distribution by tea rooms and shops. It sounded like a good idea.
I met with the editor/publisher, and we negotiated some cross-promotional devices. It seemed natural to want to support a new start-up, especially when the owner was a fellow New Jerseyan.
I have to admit that the first time I saw the actual newsletter, though, I had a few doubts about its viability. Back then it was just a few pages long, in black and white only — and, frankly, mostly white (space). The articles were skimpy in both number and content, and I usually buzzed through each issue in less than ten minutes. A pleasant enough read, but it didn’t hold my interest for very long.
Fortunately, times — and The Tea House Times — have changed.
TTHT has evolved into a sixteen-plus page, full-colour publication printed on high-quality glossy paper. Each issue features crafts, recipes, tea rooms, poetry, etiquette, travel, and a variety of articles about teas, tea businesses, past and upcoming tea events, Victoriana, and book or product reviews. Their latest feature is the Red Hat Society page, with news, reviews, and “Purple Perks” discounts on various products.
Lady Gayle, as the editor/publisher prefers to be known, has branched out far past her signature newsletter. TTHT now offers tea tours and cruises, along with an ever-growing variety of products ranging from tea ribbon to gift bags to jewelry to greeting cards to scone mixes and beyond.
When I stopped by her booth at the 2007 World Tea Expo, I found Lady Gayle surrounded by a huge assortment of tea time goodies and gifts (and lots of customers!). What started out as a small newsletter has grown into a true enterprise under Lady Gayle’s stewardship.
If you’re looking for good reading with a breezy editorial style, sources for just about anything tea you can think of, or a fun destination for your next vacation, visit The Tea House Times. There’s lots of information and shopping on the website, but subscribe to the newsletter too. I think you’ll enjoy it. (Contact Lady Gayle direct for details about bulk ordering for your tea room or shop.)
And maybe I’ll see you at TTHT’s next tour of the Charleston Tea Plantation!
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