Tiny tea shop Teatopia opens on Cherokee Street
Owner Reginald “Reo” Quarles said he looked at more than 20 spots on his quest to open Teatopia, but none seemed quite right. Then he ran across the small Cherokee space, the former home of The Little Dipper sandwich shop. With just room enough for three tables, “it was a perfect fit.” Its diminutive size makes it easy for one person to operate, a definite benefit since Teatopia is basically a one-man show, with Quarles handling most of the daily duties.
Teatopia offers a wide variety of teas – 40 at last count – including varieties from Sri Lanka, India and other Asian countries, available to sip on site. Quarles also has created custom tea blends, like chocolate chai made with black tea, vanilla white chai and chocolate. He can also make custom blends to suit individual tastes. One-ounce containers of tea leaves are available to purchase and brew at home.
Teatopia also has a food menu, featuring salads, wraps and a selection of baked goods. Even some of the food is tea-focused, including a tea vinaigrette and tea-infused cream cheeses. “I was attracted to the tranquility of tea, the calming effect of tea,” said Quarles, who is also a vegan and martial artist. “It’s like all of what I believe in coming together.”
Quarles said his first few days of business have been good, and the Cherokee Street community has been receptive. “Everyone has welcomed me with open arms,” he said.
Dee Ryan is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine.
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