Big Changes Coming

Dear Tea Lovers,
After 15 years in business, Tea For All Reasons has big changes coming! After much prayer and consideration over the last year, I have decided it is time to sell the retail side of the business in order to focus on wholesale. This online shop will cease retail business at Midnight on December 31, 2015, and will then transition to wholesale only, with login access.
The new owner, Michelle Gash, will reopen the retail online shop with a new name,  
Your Tea For All Reasons,  and a new web address,  www.yourteaforallreasons.com    
Please rest assured that the new shop will carry many of your favorite flavors and collections.  
Your kindness and loyal business have meant the world to me over the years. It has been my absolute pleasure to serve you by supplying the very best and most creative blends to you. Many of you have become wonderful friends.  My wish for you is that you may continue to be blessed with many reasons and occasions to enjoy the pleasures of Tea and that you share that pleasure with others!
Lastly, be looking out for some terrific SALES coming over the next four weeks!
With much gratitude,
Marsha
Owner Tea For All Reasons
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Ebbs and Flows

Much like the sea, our lives and businesses can have ebbs and flows ~ some periods are peaceful and quiet; other periods arrive with such ferocity you feel you might be overtaken by the waves. Though I love the hectic, brisk, busyness of the holiday season, it’s this time of year, the spring and summer months, that gives me a chance to refresh, restore and renew. Unlike most years when Spring marks the beginning of another U.K. trip, we are staying put this year, with just a few short trips planned here and there. Our desire is to spend more time with the family, especially the “grands,” who are growing up way too fast.

Spring and Summer this year will also be spent cleaning and organizing, including here in the shop. We’ve added a number of teas to our Spring Sale Section as we clear the shelves and clean out the tea armoire. Many of the blends are limited quantities or product closeouts so be sure to check them out while supplies last!!

How exciting it was to hear the joyous news of the birth of a little Royal Princess of Cambridge! That means I am working hard on creating a new blend to add to our Royal Collection. Stay tuned for an announcement soon!

Be sure to stay tuned, also, for some great blends coming for Summer, specially suited for iced tea.

Whether your favorite place to enjoy these warm months is the garden, lakeside, or beach, take time to savor your Tea Time each day! ~ Marsha

Photo crecit natureb4.com

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Travel News from Across the Pond

We certainly did breeze right by Spring and into Summer this year! In part it was because we were on vacation for almost six weeks. My husband has convinced me that the only way I can get proper rest, relaxation and rejuvenation is by leaving the country. Be assured, it doesn’t take much arm-twisting for me to give in to that! Our travels this year took us to England and France, where we were able to take in some long-dreamed of sights during our stay.  Besides giving us much-needed personal time to refresh, this trip also afforded me wonderful opportunities to do research, enhancing my knowledge and appreciation of the ever-expanding world of tea.   In Paris, we visited two of the premier tea emporiums, pictured here, Mariage Freres and Heddiard.   

 

 

 

No trip across the pond would be complete without shopping!  This photo was taken of Gold Hill in Dorset where we climbed the hill and rewarded ourselves by stopping in to a charming little antique shop at the top.

 

What fun we had scooping up bargains at little vintage and antique shops, flea market stalls and china factories!  The one pictured below is the Burleigh Factory in Stoke-on-Trent, one of our favorite haunts.  Emma Bridgewater, Dudson, Churchill and, of course, Wedgewood and Royal Doulton, got their fair-share of our time and money as well. 

 

Boy, howdy, do we have a boat-load of goodies to show you!  Over the course of the next few months, we will begin to reveal the lovelies in our shop here, on Etsy, at our annual Fall Open House, as well as on Facebook. Here are just a few samples:

 

As for what is going on here at home in the shop, be sure to check out our Summer Sale Section as there are some terrific bargains listed right now at 50% off!  We have our White Tea blends, which make great iced teas,  included and numerous favorites as well. We’ll be adding some new flavors in our New Arrivals very soon, too.

By popular demand, we are working to get PayPal installed for your shopping convenience. We’ll make an announcement when it goes live. Stay tuned!

May your Summer be a season to relax, refresh and rejuvenate with opportunities to embrace those moments with family and friends.  And, of course, don’t forget to drink lots of tea!

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All You Need is Tea and Warm Socks

We are experiencing quite the Winter weather here in the Shenandoah Valley. Most of the weather patterns this year have put us in right on the edge of the snow and freezing rain line. Since December, we have had snow or freezing rain pretty much on a weekly basis. Mind you, we are not complaining as we love Winter! The view out my office window is bright white most days. For the tea lover, and especially for one in the tea business, Winter is a our favorite time of year. Folks are seeking the warmth and comfort that comes from sniffing, brewing, and sipping their cuppas! All you really need is Tea and warm socks!

The report is in ~ our Holiday shopping season was the most profitable ever! We are so grateful to you, our loyal customers, for making it such a huge success. Never could we have predicted how wildly successful our Doctor Who Collection would be. These teas were, by far, the biggest sellers over the holidays and continue to fly off the shelves.

Our Downton Abbey Collection is also extremely popular as folks stock up to sip their favorites while watching the latest episodes on Sunday nights. On a personal note, we entertained a group of ladies here to enjoy a Downton Abbey Marathon. Over two days, we consumed copious amounts of our DA Teas, scones as well as Downton Abbey Shortbread that I found at World Market. Both nights we took a break for dinner, treating ourselves to the new Downton Abbey Wines that made perfect accompaniments to our meals. For dessert the first night we had Downton Abbey Mincemeat Tarts, also from World Market, that were delish!  After doing this two years in a row, I think we have started a tradition, as long as the series continues!

Valentines Day is just around the corner so do check out our Valentine Favorites in the shop. We’ll have lots of new items listed soon, including our Mardi Gras Collection and St. Patrick’s Collection.

It’s not too late to wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year! Hang in there, Spring is coming!

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The Happiest Season of All

Can we rewind to September? We shot right through Fall and now Christmas is looming. Work has been non-stop the last three months and promises to be hectic through the end of the year. We’re not complaining, though ~ we love making our customers happy! And Christmas is the happiest season of all!

Most of the last three months have been devoted to our annual Open House and this year’s event was the biggest ever. Thank you to all of you who came out to sniff, sample, browse and shop our wares over the course of two days. We saw lots of old friends, some who came from our old stomping grounds, and many new customers, one who came from as far as New Jersey! The word has spread near and far of our spectacular displays and unique tea offerings.

This year’s biggest selling flavor was our new “Mama’s Spicy Carrot Cake” Specialty Rooibos, and it’s not surprising! Oh, my, it is one yummy brew! From now until the end of the year, everyone who places an order for any item gets a free sample, enough to make 2-3 cups to try. We’re betting you’ll come back for more!

Another yummy flavor for the holidays is our “Cookies for Santa” Specialty Black. It’s rich in oatmeal cookie taste with candy sprinkles that will make the “Jolly Ole Elf” smile with delight.  The kids will be pleased, too!

 

Our “Collections” have been an overwhelming success! Check out the “Doctor Who,” “Downton” and “Royal” sections in the shop for lots of great Christmas gift ideas for fans. In our “Scones and More” section you will find our new, delicious and versatile Marmalades, great for toast, served with cheese and as a glaze on pork!  We’ve also added Bead on a Wire’s custom designed Beaded Infusers and other new items to the “Tea Accessories” section with even more items to come so stay tuned.

Our hope this year is that, in the midst of the mayhem of packaging tea and packing up orders, that we not lose sight of the real “Reason for the Season.” It’s not about our “bottom line” it’s about the One whose birth we celebrate.  May you and yours experience the sights and sounds of the season, as well as the Joy and Hope that we can all experience because of that first Christmas. From all of us here at TEA FOR ALL REASONS, Merry Christmas and a healthy and blessed New Year!

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Busy Days, Creative Nights

Our Summer “Staycation” is over and we have already started to gear up for the busy season that has its unofficial start the first day of September. Each year I make every attempt to be as prepared and organized as possible before I turn the page on my calendar to September 1, and every year there remains on the to-do list a number of items left undone. I am optimistic that I can still get these items crossed off until reality sets in around the beginning of October. We shall see…

One of the vital parts of any business is having a good grasp on the administrative side and, for me, time hasn’t always been in ample supply to keep a firm handle on all the behind the scenes elements that are key in running a smooth operation. I was able to secure more help in that area which has allowed me much more time to concentrate on what I love the most and really do best ~ creating! When I get into a creative streak, it is sometimes hard to get the brain to shut off, especially at night, so I wind up spending many late hours working. But rewards come with hard work! New blends, marketing ideas, displays and new customer business are the fruits of that labor and I am grateful for the time and energy that produced so much this summer.

It’s a Boy!

With those words the waiting world welcomed a new Prince to the family of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. In little George’s honor, we created Prince of Cambridge Specialty Black, a blend all his own! It’s BLUE, of course, with blueberry, lilac, lemon and vanilla flavoring with cornflower blossoms and candy sprinkles for decoration ~ a blend truly fit for a future king!

With the popularity of Downton Abbey, we decided to expand our Downton Abbey Collection to include Carson’s Below Stairs Specialty Black, our exclusive creation of Nilgiri, Assam, Ceylon blacks teas along with just a pinch of Lapsang Souchong for a hint of smokiness. This blend brews into a nice, strong cuppa, of which Carson and any tea purist would certainly approve.


Along with the extensive list of Fall Favorites now available in the shop, do take note of two New Arrivals to our Chai section as well! ChocoChai and Caramel Vanilla Chai have been added and I’m still working on a Rooibos version of our Pumpkin Spice Chai that I hope will be ready soon. A few new Fall teas are in the works as well as a collection of Dr. Who teas! With the 50th Anniversary fast approaching we just know lots of DW fans will want our exclusive collection. Very soon gift boxed options will be available for all of our various “Collections.”  Stay tuned!

Here are some things on the exciting news front. We are almost at 1000 Likes on Facebook! Thanks to all our lovely friends who follow our page and contribute to our love of all things Tea! Our ads have appeared in Victoria Magazine’s September issue as well as Tea Time Magazine’s Sept/Oct issue! And we are now on Square Market ~ another, wonderfully convenient way to shop! You now have three ways to find us : this online shop, our Etsy Shop and now Square Market. Please tell your friends!

Happy Autumn!

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Summer Staycation

        Without fail, each year when June comes around, my first thought is always, “Six months until Christmas.”  Does the thought make you shudder like it does me?  Once I am able to shake it off, my next reaction is to think about getting serious about the way I spend the next few months.   With a trip to Disney in February and a short trip to Pennsylvania with two of our grandchildren in early June, we are probably going to spend the next couple of months enjoying a “staycation,” perhaps taking a few weekdays or weekends to explore some areas close to home.  This will allow me to devote the time needed to catching up on my long list of home and office projects.  Here we are, in the middle of summer and not much progress has been made so I’ll need to ramp it up a bit!   

       One way to stay refreshed this summer, whether at work or at play is by enjoying some of our Iced Tea Favorites.  We have many to choose from in this section, to enjoy all day or evening long. 

       Because I am such a task-oriented person and tend to thrive on organization, a top priority for me is to make a list and work on the items that are most obviously in need of being done before I tackle the creative, fun, optional items next.   I’m no fun, right?   Au contraire, mes amis!  (My husband is taking French lessons and I think they’re rubbing of on me)  I know how to have fun when it fits into my schedule!   One of the creative tasks I am looking forward to working on is a new collection of teas ~ a Dr. Who Collection.  Now, how’s that for fun!  Stay tuned for news of when these exclusive teas will be ready for the shop. 

        In addition, I’m working on some new Chai flavors.   And, last but not least, like many of you I’m waiting for word of the birth of Britain’s latest little Royal Prince or Princess so we can introduce a new tea to the Royal blends in our English Favorites section.  Stay tuned for that as well!

         Whether you are planning an escape to the beach or the mountains, over land or sea, or perhaps you are spending a “staycation” near home, may you have a wonderful, restful, restorative summer!

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Cleaning, Creating and Connecting

Spring is finally here and the warmer weather always motivates me to clean and organize. Getting organized to do taxes is also a great motivator! With the chore of taxes out of the way, plus cleaning out lots of old paperwork and catalogs, the important papers that remained still needed a proper storage place, so I made the decision to purchase two more desks for work and storage space and two more filing cabinets. All of these additions have made a huge difference in helping me keep things in order. Finally, after living here for three years I have set up a long-overdue filing system.

 

 

In February, I encountered some unexpected challenges that, at first, were very discouraging.  After taking a good bit of time to process them in mind and heart, I decided that, rather than considering them setbacks, I would choose to face them head on and see what could be done to make the most of the changes. Now, let me confess to you that I am not one to embrace change. To be honest, I hate change and resist it at all costs. But, there are times in our lives when there is nothing we can do to prevent it or turn back the clock. So, with that challenge set before me, I made the decision to go back to doing what I do best ~ being creative ~ specifically, creating more custom blends. The results of that decision are evident in many of the New Arrivals that are in the shop as of this month.  Our “House of Earl Grey” section is full of uniquely created Earl Grey Blends, many of them brand new for your tasting enjoyment. Another new selection of unique blends is my exclusive “Downton Abbey Collection.” With the popularity of this highly watched show, I decided to expand the collection which now includes four creations.  There are also lots of delicious new, fruity blends in both shops, perfect for spring and summer, brewed as a hot cuppa or poured over ice for a refreshing glass of tea.

 

 

So, where does “connecting” fit in to this article? It has become obvious that Facebook is an essential part of the business now, especially as I’ve always liked connecting with my customers anyway. But the time has come to ramp up the participation so I hope you will become one of our friends and stay connected! Be the first to find out about new blends, special offers and promotions, not only in this shop but also in our Etsy Shop, as well as the Food For All Reasons Facebook page and blog I share with my daughter.  We have a passion for tea, food and everything in between!
teaforallreasons.etsy.com
foodforallreasons.com

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Winter’s Last Blast?

As I write this, our area of Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley, is anticipating a big winter storm, with perhaps up to 18″ of snow. I love a good snow storm and we haven’t had nearly enough this winter, with the exception of a week of snowfalls that arrived around Christmas and that stayed on the ground for a good, long time. Since then,  there has been a void but now it looks as if we are getting all of it dumped on us in one go. I’m not complaining but I’m also not quite as excited as I would have been if it had come in January or February.

One good thing about this weather is that it keeps folks in the mood for hot tea! Our brand new Chocolate Earl Grey Specialty Blend has been a huge hit!  You’ll find it in our “Shades of Earl Grey” section along with all of our popular Earl Grey blends. Be sure to check back often as we are working on creating more unique Earl Grey blends, exclusive to Tea For All Reasons.

Along with our delicious Easter and Spring blends, we now have in stock our wide range of St. Patrick’s flavors. Have you tried our Mint Chocolate Chip?

 

Oh, my! It is just like the ice cream of the same name!  Stock up soon as St. Patty’s Day and Easter are just around the corner!

Our Downton Abbey Blend continues to be a popular choice these days. And our Jane Austen Blend is a great addition if you are planning a Pride and Prejudice-themed tea, in this the 200th year of the publication of Jane Austen’s masterpiece.

I’ll be back soon with more news about New Arrivals,  as soon as we dig out!

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A New Year and Turning a New Page

I love how the New Year always brings a sense of a new beginning, a fresh start, a do-over. One thing that marks a new year for me is my calendar or, I should say, calendars; daily planners, wall calendars, page-a-day calendars. I love how I get to turn, not just a page, but get an entirely fresh start with something brand new for a new year. I’m very picky which ones I choose as they must be pleasing to the eye and practical as well so I usually make my own selections and put them on a Christmas “wishlist.” My all-time favorite is this one ~

Each month features a delicious tea vignette with historical description to savor. I can’t bear to part with them when the year is done and have stored at least twelve years worth in my file cabinet, ’cause you just never know when you’ll need an outdated calendar! This Christmas my hubby gave me this one which I absolutely love ~

Yes, Downton Abbey is back! Finally Matthew and Mary are married and all the complicated goings on both upstairs and downstairs have us glued to the TV on Sunday nights once again! But, I digress…
Our New Arrivals include the Downton inspired creation, Downton Abbey Blend which has been flying off the shelves. I am sure Lady Cora would make this her choice for her afternoon tea, don’t you?

January is National Hot Tea Month which makes this is a great time to stock up on your favorites.  Snowflake Specialty Black and Winter Punch Rooibos are just two of the most popular cold weather choices. We also have lots of flavors offered in the Sale Section but  don’t wait as they are available only as supplies last!
To all of you, may you be blessed with new beginnings, good health and prosperity as you turn the page to 2013. Happy New Year!

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