Before opening Tilly Mint’s, Trish had worked as a special-education teaching assistant at a local middle school. But she always had a hand in the restaurant business, waitressing one to two nights a week. “My parents had both been sick and passed away, and my daughter was done with college and starting a family of her own,” Trish recalls. “I was really sad and just needed something to do. One day I woke up and thought, ‘You know what? I’m going to start a tearoom.’” She returned to culinary school and then began scouting for the right location. Trish opened Tilly Mint’s in 2007 in Souderton, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia.
A visit to Tilly Mint’s is akin to stepping into a British-themed wonderland—from the Union Jack proudly set up outside the tearoom to an iconic red phone booth stationed inside to several knickknacks and tributes to the royal family and to Trish’s own family. “It’s a very personal tearoom because I have loads of British memorabilia,” Trish says. “I have my dad’s kilt and my high school uniform on display.”
More subtle details honor her family and her British heritage. According to Trish, the name of each tea service has something to do with her family’s connection to the Liverpool area. The Jenny Wren Tea (for children ages 10 and under) is named after her daughter, who has worked with Trish at the tearoom since it opened its doors. The St. James gift shop in the back of the tearoom honors her husband for “his patience while I got the tearoom started.”