NELLIE’S TEA AND GIFTS
5 Industry Road Suite 1A • South Portland, ME 04106
207-761-8041 • nelliestea.com
Marianne Russo’s father was from England, and tea, accompanied by her grandmother Nellie’s delicious baked goods, was always a part of her family’s daily life. When she realized not everyone had this same experience, she thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to someday open a little English tearoom?” Since she was a career nurse and had no business experience, that idea easily could have remained a what-if. But a determined Marianne jumped in and learned all she could about the tea world.
Though she started Nellie’s Tea and Gifts within an existing shop, Marianne has since moved to her own space in an industrial park—an atypical location for such a venture. “The neighborhood is not where people expect to find a tea shop,” says Marianne, “but once inside, we have great light and atmosphere.” A cheery green canopy marks the entrance, where seasonal flowers bloom and the “Open” flag flies.
Nellie’s is small, with seating topping out at a dozen, but it car ries about 70 varieties of tea and a large number of tea accoutrements, such as infusers, teapots, and storage tins. Marianne also offers classes both at the shop and in the community. “I love sharing my passion for tea with others,” she says. “When someone gets excited about all the wonderful flavor profiles of tea leaves, I know I’ve done a good job!”