Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Birth of a Tea Room -- Part 1

So, where do I begin?

Here we go again.  Lease signed.  Sigh deeply.  Gather all the puzzle pieces.  Get set...Go!
Right away the utilities have to be put in my name.  Gas and electric--check.  The phone lines and internet will have to come later, when enough is done that I am there every day.  In the mean time, the shop number floats in cyberspace as a virtual number that rolls over to my cell phone.  It's pretty neat what they can do these days with technology.
Start drawing out the finished floor plan.  We'll need to close in the window to the back room, and build a support wall for the tea bar.  The carpet will have to come up in the tea bar service area.  My fantastic husband, Phil, dubbed The TeaMan, gets the horrible job of scraping the old glue off the floor in preparation for tile.  Trip to carpet warehouse to find tile...check.
Get exact measurements for countertop for the Tea Bar so that it can be ordered...check.  Measure this...squeeze that.  Holy crap!  My desk just won't fit anywhere!  I mean any which way you look at it.  OK, get on line and find a new desk and file drawers in the right dimensions.  Check. 

Think about health department regulations.  Walls in the service area will need to be painted in washable paint.  Ceiling tiles changed to washable tiles.  The rest of the carpet is serviceable but will need a good steam cleaning.   We'll need a counter to prepare tea at.  Sketch in...check.  Cabinets for storage under the counter would be nice.  Trip to Home Depot--yea! cabinets are on sale.  Buy two cabinets...check.
Thank heavens electrical is all right where we need it, and so is the basic plumbing.  But a call to the inspectors downtown tells me that we can't install the sinks and ice machine ourselves, and have to find a licensed plumber to do the job.  Call around for estimates...check. 
Order new business cards and postcards announcing our new location, plus a nice poster for the front window announcing that Elaine's Tea Shoppe is Coming Soon!...check.  Call the sign company.  Make sure they can install my lighted sign on the front of the building at least a couple of weeks before opening.  Have them make new lettering to go on the wall above the tea cottage...check. 
While my brother and husband continue to prepare the space, I think I'll take a breath here while I wait for estimates, tile and countertop to come in.  Whew!

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