Retired businesswoman Paula Kinsey has a love for teatime as part of America’s English heritage and as part of high society. Tea time is common occurrence where she spent most of her life in Culpeper, Va.
Retired businesswoman Paula Kinsey has a love for teatime as part of America’s English heritage and as part of high society.
Tea time is common occurrence where she spent most of her life in Culpeper, Va.
So, when she took an interest in opening up a teahouse called Tea for Two within her Victorian home, she found out she needed a rezoning to do so.
The Dover Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the rezoning to essentially allow specialty hobby stores, restaurants with no alcoholic beverages and other items at its Dec. 19 meeting.
Dover City Council unanimously approved that ordinance at its Jan. 9 meeting.
Essentially, the house is primarily residential with a side use for the teahouse that fits in with the setting of the Historic District, Director of Planning Anne Marie Townshend said.
Kinsey told council she believed her teahouse would help attract more customers to Loockerman Street.
Kinsey’s neighbor, Yvonne Paul, who owns the State Street Inn next door to Kinsey with her husband, Mike, expressed her support for Kinsey’s teahouse.
“They’ve done much to improve the property and become part of the downtown area,” she said. “I think it would give visitors of Dover a great place to go.”
Tea for Two will seat 15 to 18 people and serve finger sandwiches, desserts as well as tea, Kinsey said.
She hopes to open during Dover Days in May.
Q How did you come up with the idea for a teahouse?
A About one year ago, I began reading about tea and I found that William Penn introduced tea drinking to the Quaker colony that he founded in Delaware in 1682. After visiting a teahouse in Virginia, I thought to myself, this place could work for a teahouse. When I mentioned it to my neighbors, they began bringing me tea books and encouraging me to look into what I had to do to make this idea work.
Q Is this your first venture into business?
A No. My husband and I ran a $2 million a year appliance business in Virginia. We sold all lines of appliances, equipment, cabinets and carpet. We serviced everything. We had Randolph’s Supply and equipment for 16 years.
Q Why do you think a teahouse will work?
A Because gals like to get together and put on a hat and go back and be whoever they want to be. My friends and I used to have a lot of tea parties in Virginia. It’s just so much fun. It puts a smile on your face. But when you’re really doing it right, it puts a smile on your heart.
Q How did you find this house?
A We bought this four years ago and came only on the weekends. We also had a home in Nova Scotia. We weren’t going to Nova Scotia very often. My birthday weekend, we were on our way to Dover Downs and I said, pull over honey. There’s an old house for sale. We came in, looked at it and bought it a few days later. And we had Christmas dinner here. It helps people grow mentally even if they’re older. I’m 66 but I have a lot of energy. This is going to be my last hurrah.