“The new space,” Heather writes, “allowed us the opportunity to do what we had originally planned—to start a tearoom. We carved out 500 square feet for use as our very first retail location. Fortunately, after six years in business, the new tearoom opened with a ready-made customer base.” They continue developing new and delicious tea blends and strengthening partnerships with tea producers abroad. After 14 years of business, The Jasmine Pearl employs an amazing team of 20 and has expanded “beyond anything we could have imagined,” in Chuck’s words.
The single greatest sadness they have suffered is the loss of their companion through all these years of determined effort, their devoted dog Baxter, who passed away last autumn. But by November, Heather was able to write “Our hearts are healing. We adopted a new companion, a one-eyed Pekingese rescue dog who came with the name Odin. Our hearts are filling again with new love for this furry little bodhisattva.” There is certainly no shortage of love in the life Chuck and Heather share. “We are deeply in love with tea,” she says—and also with one another, it is needless to add.
TeaTime Contributing Editor James Norwood Pratt is also known as America’s Tea Sage. In upcoming issues, he will continue telling the love stories of committed couples for whom tea has been a bonding agent, you might say, and who have made a life together within the tea trade. There’s a great deal of romance in a chest of tea just waiting to be recognized!
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