Bonnie Helm has always been in love with tearooms. When she opened The Front Porch Tea Room in 2000, she planned to run it for 10 years and hand it over to a new owner. Almost 19 years later, Bonnie remains the owner and chef. She is finally looking to sell, in fact, she has been for a few years and has received bids from a few interested buyers. But she isn’t willing to sell to just anyone. “I’m being so picky. I’m looking for somebody that’s going to give the tearoom, the customers, and the staff the love I feel they need. I don’t want it to feel like I’m walking away from everybody.”
Bonnie wants the new owner to continue her legacy. The tearoom, located in Hallam, Pennsylvania, a few miles from the historic town of York, is ranked the top tearoom in the state, according to teamap.com.
When initial plans for a restaurant didn’t pan out, Bonnie decided to turn the empty half of the Victorian house, in which she and her husband live, into a tearoom. “I was walking around the other half of the house, and I tell everybody I think God kicked me in the rear end,” she recalls. “I just looked around, came back over to my side, got my graph paper out, and started drawing.”