The Four Seasons Tea Room opened on October 1, 2002 in a building that had previously served as an apothecary for over 100 years. Some reminders of its previous life dot the interior of the tea room … the century-old apothecary cabinets, the large safe, and the friendly service that can be rare these days.
Looking back, mother and daughter, LaVerne Witto and Andrea Schuldt, seemed destined to open a tea room in the Copper Country. They have both been collectors of china and glass for years; love to cook, bake and entertain; and find that “taking tea” can be a most relaxing art form.
In 2000, Andrea and LaVerne donated “Tea for Eight” in their home to a local church auction downstate. The ladies attending the tea were convinced that they were dealing with professionals. After the tea, while having a second glass of wine in the backyard, Andrea and LaVerne determined they could be professionals! (Warning: Beware the second glass!)
Seizing the opportunity to finally move to the U.P. (Andrea spent most of her summers in the Keweenaw with grandparents, vowing at age 10 that she’ll “live here one day!”), things began to fall into place very quickly. Tea School was attended in Columbus, Georgia; a home and commercial building were purchased; bosses were notified of the impending departure of valued employees; and Andrea’s husband was pressed into service for building restoration. (Oh yes, and cajoling two teenaged boys to give up their life downstate and move 600 miles north took a bit of work, too.)
Forwarding to present day … LaVerne has retired from everyday tea room operations, but still puts in her two cents on how things are done and continues to iron our tea napkins! Andrea spends most of her time in the kitchen, but still manages to come out and hassle the customers on a regular basis. The aforementioned teenaged boys are now significantly older, one married and living in England with an Air Force spouse and the other married and living back in the area with his wife and daughter.
Locals and tourists alike seem to find a peaceful atmosphere, great tea and food, and attention to detail at the Four Seasons Tea Room. As the years have progressed, special events have been added (watch for our popular Novel-Teas and Tea Tastings); the tea menu slightly expanded (over 100 choices); and regulars have become extended family.
Reviews on the Tea Map (www.teamap.com) and CatTeaCorner(www.catteacorner.com) websites have been most favorable, as have customer comments.