One of Orange Pekoe’s most unusual and individual features is the hand-decorated window that changes with the seasons and special events though the year. This eye-catching artistic tradition has attracted attention since the shop opened in 2006. The seasonal designs for occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, Christmas, Halloween, Wimbledon tennis championships, and school holidays are painted onto the glass by one of the staff. Marianna believes in nurturing the talents and creativity of the people she works with and values opportunities to encourage them to express their personalities in their work at the shop. She spends time and money teaching them about the teas they serve and tends to their needs in the same way that she looks after her customers, with consideration and care and an awareness of how little touches of gratitude and genuine appreciation make everyone feel valued and involved.
Marianna’s choices of foods and teas also reflect her considerate and thoughtful approach to people’s needs and choices. The focus is on healthy eating. The team in the tiny kitchen prepares fresh-as-can-be platters for breakfast, lunch, and tea, while the accomplished staff behind the counter brew coffees from several world origins and prepare perfect pots of tea, checking water temperature and infusion times before removing the leaves and delivering the pots to eager customers. The tea list is impressive, explains the flavor profile of the different categories, and includes a wide range of specialty teas. The classic blends range through breakfast blends, decaffeinated breakfast blends, afternoon blends, Earl Greys and smoky Lapsang, to four Assams, four Ceylons, five Darjeelings, a Sikkim, three China blacks, five greens from China and Japan, four oolongs, five jasmines, three whites, a yellow, and a carefully chosen selection of flavored teas and herbal infusions. The loose-leaf teas are also for sale from huge black tins displayed on floor-to-ceiling shelves in the retail area at the front of the shop. And instead of stacking products on predictable shop shelves, Marianna arranges gift packs of tea, hampers filled with delicious goodies, take-away sandwiches and drinks, chocolates, and organic beverages for children in baskets, on trolleys, and other decorative pieces of furniture, as if they were part of the décor. And on the stylish wooden counter, spectacular home-baked cakes and scones sit under shiny glass domes and just dare you to ignore them.