Mags said

Need advice on how to start a tearoom

I have always wanted to open a tearoom for maybe 10 years. I have researched and done my homework but what stops me is that I don’t have the money. Tried getting business loans even made an appointment with SCORE counselor just to get my bubble burst. Pretty much I saw it as a something I would love to do but won’t happen. However, a few days ago talking to a shop owner where I sell my handmade jewelry, the idea came up in our conversation. She has a small space to the side that is not being used and said to bring a proposal and pretty much to convince her to rent that space to me. I feel ecstatic but feel a bit intimidated. There’s no kitchen just outlets. Any ideas what I can start with? Teas only? Maybe a tiny menu of a couple of sandwiches? Not sure how to even start. Her shop has vendors something similar to an antique mall just that vendors sell items handmade. She said she would charge rent at a minimal but will stay with 10% of sales. Customers would pay her and I get my check at the end of the month. Is this a good idea to start off with? Any advice is much appreciated.

2 Replies

Creating a business plan is a great start since you’ll know approximately how much money you’ll need to invest as well as some important information about your market. As for the kitchen, depending on your state you’ll have to call your local health department and see what they require. For me, since I blend my own teas, I was required to get a permit as a food processor. This meant I needed an up to code kitchen to make all of my products in.

I’d work on getting a business plan together, figure out who you are marketing to, along with demographics and see how much money it’ll cost. Remember you’ll need supplies as well as things to hold your inventory (shelves, tins ect)

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

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AJ said

At least in BC, Canada, you need an industrial dishwasher if you handle any reusables/dishes. If you only handle teatogo stuff-paper cups and the like, then you don’t. Unfortunately, I believe in most places, in order to be able to serve anything, I think you still need a sink (to be certified/not closed down by health). Otherwise, you don’t need one to sell prepackaged teas, like a gift shop.

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