GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A high tea room is coming to Grand Rapids around late February, the first of its kind in the area.
Melissa Langley, owner of High Tea GR, says her new business venture is very purposeful.
“We're not swiping, we're just gonna go and we're gonna sit and we're gonna get acquainted," she said.
“I get to help support and renew kind of that old fashioned idea of communication and relationships, in a really pretty space.”
Seventeen years ago, she and a friend came up with the idea to bring a taste of England to West Michigan. Today, she’s finally making it a reality.
Her love for all things British started back in the 1980's with the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana.
“Since then, I kind of nerd out about all things Royal — all things British," she explained.
A longtime Eastown resident, Langley knew she wanted something specific from a storefront.
“In England, you can have, you know, a pub next to a tea room next to a bookstore. And I love the lineup on Wealthy Street, because it is a eclectic.”
Sandwiched right between Wolfgang’s and Eastown Sports Bar, she found the perfect spot.
“There's all these different businesses that are as equally passionate about what they do, and we get to fit right in," she said.
While she plans to bring back a traditional form of communication to her visitors, she’s been doing it for 15 years at her day job — right inside the same building.
She's a licensed professional counselor, helping clients solve life problems all day long.
"My mental health job is supporting and listening and making plans for life and working through the hard things," Langley said.
"This is more of like, the pretty things and the creative things. And I get a kick out of making flower arrangements and playing around with pretty tea sets," she laughed.
After over a decade of telling her patients to take risks and dream big, she’s decided it’s time to start practicing what she preaches.
"I want to inspire them," she said. "Get out of your heads and see if you can dream a little and see what you come up with."
It’s a relief to chase this dream through some heavy days as a therapist.
“My mental health job is supporting and listening and making plans for life and working through the hard things. This is more of like, the pretty things and the creative things. And I get a kick out of making flower arrangements and playing around with pretty tea sets.”
Although the space is still incomplete, she’s already booked out multiple events after their opening.
In the meantime, they’re selling takeaway boxes filled with all the high tea essentials. Langley, however, can’t wait for the real thing.
“We're in a hurry to open because we're just getting so much interest. And, and honestly, I just need to get open. I just need to do it," she said.
You can purchase your own High Tea takeaway box for $25 on their website here.
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