Some of you might know about Jaguar Man, but if you don’t - he is a delightful man who lives in the neighborhood.
When I started this tea stand journey last year he’d drive by and honk and occasionally pass me any spare change he had with the blow of a kiss as he left.
Today he brought me things from his garden and honestly I just adore Jaguar Man - as he drove off he flipped his hand up for a kiss to blow and said “Tell everyone your boyfriend brought you this! Sharing is caring!”
A great first day back out on the curb, and it wasn’t even too terribly hot!!
Thank you to EVERYONE who came out and supported me! Sold out of tea jugs and everything!
Name: Meaghan Ferneau
Where are you? Little Rock, Arkansas
What do you do? Regional Demand Generation Manager (basically Tech Marketing) and Princessing as a side hustle!
Favorite blends? Gentle Dreams / Rose Mint / Peach Mint
Iced or hot? Hot!
What's your ideal tea experience? Sitting out in the French countryside with a cup of Gentle Dreams and no one is around, except Chris Pratt - he’s there. Did you say ideal experience or day dream? Same thing right?
What got you into tea? I have always enjoyed it, but in all honesty I have never had blends as creative or delicious as Abbi’s!
Any fun cocktails or weird/fun things you do with your tea leaves? I use the Rose Mint leaves on my hands for eczema- and we have made cocktails with a few blends making a simple syrup!
What are you reading? I finally opened up “Untamed” which I’ve had sitting unopened for quite some time!
What are you listening to these days? I’m an old soul - I love old records mainly from the 60s and 70s.
What's a blend you'd love to try but haven't yet? Goji Ginger
Thanks for always making me laugh, Meaghan and for all the kind words & drive by honks from the Jeep on your way home!
A really small and insignificant event just happened that triggered in me a deep cathartic cry that I feel has been dwelling up in me for a few weeks now. One of those cleansing “make things new by clearing things out” types of cries.
At the beginning of the pandemic, when I was trying to figure out what retail would sell and would be easy to move in and out every day out at the tea stand I made some purchases of teapots.
Typically when I buy teapots or things for the store, I choose things that I really love in hopes people will love it like I do.
So, when I found this matte gray teapot with a cream accent, I really wanted to keep it for myself but alas, I have so many teapots. I couldn’t let it pass and there was only one left from this manufacturer, and I needed it for the stand.
I knew it would sell.
Well, the year passed - in and out this gray teapot came and went with me out to the stand. In every season - cold weather, spring weather, hot humid weather, fall weather, and repeat.
When we got to the point where I was ready to open back up, I was merchandising and buying for the gift shop room & the gray teapot was the last remaining teapot from that initial pandemic buy. I just didn’t understand why no one loved this little teapot like me. So, I told myself that if it was still here at Christmas this year, I would take it home, and it would be mine.
Today, I sold the gray teapot.
I do not know why it touched me so much, but when they came around the corner after spending much time debating which pot to choose for their tea nook, they had the gray teapot nestled in their elbow.
Tears sprung to my eyes and I said, “Oh, are you going to buy that one?!” They said “Well, we’d hoped so!” I quickly said “yes, yes please!” and unintentionally I let loose some tears on them. I explained to them about how this was the only teapot that literally came in and out every single time at the tea stand for a year and a half - and, how I just didn’t understand why no one would buy it.
The loneliest but most loyal teapot to survive the elements and the hustle without even so much as a chip on her. She’s a resilient little pot, that one!
The tears were rolling at this point and I said, “That teapot has just been waiting for you! It’s just been waiting to find you this whole time and I hope you will just love her and cherish her.”
They were super cool about it even though my sappy ass was having a bit of a moment. We chattered about books and other things and they headed out the door with her.
But, as they are standing on the sidewalk - teapot lovingly held in their arms - I feel like the whole load of this year just came rolling out of me. The weight of making it through it all. The weight of hauling my shop in and out every single day.
Farewell, teapot friend. You are the only one who saw me laugh, cry, dance, sing, work, sweat, read, & work my entire self mentally & physically to keep this tea shop afloat. You did it with me - all on the side of the curb during the hardest year of my entire life. You hold so many stories and sights and memories that only you could see & many only you will ever know.
I hope you get used fully and often and I bet you make the best damn tea a pot could ever make because you survived this year just like me — and now you are right where you belong! We made it. We’re okay. We survived - and now we can go back to doing what we were really meant to do.
I made it! I keep whispering that to myself these days. February marks the start of my fourth year in business. It also marks the 12th month of operating 100% curbside with the tea stand. I spent 10 of the 12 months of my 3rd year outside in the elements of Arkansas weather slinging tea and finding solace in the faces of my neighbors and customers. I MADE IT!
The loneliness of 2020 was really hard for me. Not just at the tea shop that sat quiet and empty day after day, but the world in general was a hard and lonely place. Isolating from those we love, the tensions of extreme partisanship in our country, and the loneliness of being misunderstood and directly lied about were all things I struggled with more than ever in year 3.
LET'S GET THIS PAR-TEA STARTED!
We've partnered up with the most creative, locally owned boutique tea shop in town – Abbi's Teas & Things – to bring you a delicious new way to experience two of our favorite things: beautifully custom blended teas and handmade gelato.
For two weeks we'll highlight three new spring tea blends created specifically for this beautiful time of year by Abbi Siler. Join us at ZAZA for a scoop of Strawberry Harvest Mint Tea Gelato, Lavender Lemonade Tea Gelato, and Blueberry Basil Tea Sorbetto (dairy free).
Each batch begins with freshly steeped tea from Abbi's. We then blend in fresh fruit, spices, and premium ingredients to highlight the inherent flavors and aromas of each tea to create a uniquely tasty cool spring treat. Be sure to try all three exceptional flavors over these two weeks and then stop by Abbi's Teas & Things in Hillcrest to pick up your favorite blend to enjoy at home. In addition to teas and treats, be sure to make time to chat with Abbi while you're in the shop. Incredibly knowledgeable about the health benefits and history of tea, Abbi can guide you to the perfect blend for your needs.
👉WIN A 'TEA to TABLE' BASKET
Tag your Gelato Tea Time pics with #AbbisGelato and you're entered to win a basket from Abbi's and ZAZA worth $75! Winner will be selected and announced on May 3rd.
👉MORE ABOUT ABBI'S - A SMALL FAMILY BUSINESS:
Abbi's Teas & Things is a small boutique tea shop in the Hillcrest Historic District of Little Rock, Arkansas. A family operated business: mom, daughter, and sister! Abbi's shop offers unique teas and a collection of cute things to browse. Their selection of tea ware, jewelry, and gifts are unique and ever changing; you never know what you'll find! Abbi's offers their own proprietary loose leaf tea blends alongside traditional tea favorites. • Learn more here: https://www.abbiteas.com/
👉MORE ABOUT THE FEATURED BLENDS:
🍓 Strawberry Harvest Mint:
Ingredients: white tea, rose petals, rose hips, dried strawberries, peppermint leaves, hibiscus flowers ••• A lightly caffeinated white tea that is naturally sweet, pink, and subtly minty.
Ingredients: dried blueberries, hibiscus flowers, green and purple holy basil (leaves & stems) ••• This special spin on Tulsi tea is spicy, aromatic with a sweet finish. Perfect hot with a splash of local honey or ice it up for a refreshing summer cocktail.
Ingredients: french lavender, green tea, dried apples, orange peels, marigold flowers, vanilla extract, lemon zest, blue butterfly pea flower ••• a springy and brightly aromatic green tea with a color that is as vibrant as the the height of spring