Being a part of the Community
We're a pretty gregarious bunch anyway but last week I realized it wasn't just idle chatter. We are a part of this community. It shows up in a million ways. Sasha, the award-winning dancer from Fred Astaire Dance Studios two doors down, often drops in for a quick meal late afternoons. And our customers take dance lessons from him. Jacque, our Store Manager, gets a manicure from Joy Nails down the block and Joy asked Jacque to write out her wedding invitations in elegant long-hand. Mike and Alysia own Coffee Labs around the corner and we get our Smoothie mixes from them. In return they buy tea from us. We share stories, a commitment for Fair Trade, tips on vendors and the occasional horror story about Life as a Small Business Owner! Just about all of us have Verizon cell phones from Diane who manages the local Verizon store and we personally deliver Chai to our neighbor, Nikos, who owns the jewellery store right next to us.
I always wanted to have local artists hang their work on our walls. Our buddies, Margaret and Tim, organize this for us through the Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow Arts Council. We've had a continuous collection of original artwork grace our walls these past 8 years. They've run the gamut - from photography to oils to water colors to collages. Recently, the Council decided it would be fun to do one-man shows. Our current artist is a story unto himself. Gene Levine is in the prime of his life at 80. Having lost his wife recently, he seems to have discovered a new vibrancy through his art. The day after his show opened, his daughter, Janet, organized a reception for him. Mr. Levine was understandably overwhelmed. Since then, he, his daughters, his daughters' friends and now their acquaintances have dropped in each week and soaked up the atmosphere.
Charlene, our Assistant Manager, also works at the famed Music Hall around the corner. Last week, she made a killer cup of Moroccan Mint for one of the performers. He was so won over that he showed up the following day to purchase the tea for himself! We contribute gift baskets for local raffles and silent auctions. We see children grow into young men and women and occasionally snatch them up as employees as soon as they are of age! Colleen, one of our earliest young customers, is one such success story. Her Dad always harbored a secret desire for his young daughter to enjoy a spot of tea each afternoon. Imagine his surprise when he found she was doing just that....but in our Tea Room! Now, years later, she can recommend teas with artistry and finesse.
We're glad to be part of this community.