By Marilyn McConahay
For Miami Valley Today
TIPP CITY — Quaint older buildings in downtown Tipp City, many built in the late 1800s, house businesses that continue to draw out-of-town and local visitors alike.
Entrepreneur Jayne Lewis recently introduced a new arrangement of her two downtown businesses, located side-by-side at 126 and 128 E. Main St.
On one side of her store, Lewis had operated The Golden Leaf Tea and Herb Company, where she sold her teas and herbs. On the other side of the store, she ran The Golden Leaf Tea Room.
Nearly two weeks ago, Lewis presented her new business concept to the community. She switched the two locations and now operates The Golden Leaf Tea and Herb Company in the larger room to go along with her revamped, more intimate Living Garden Tea Cafe.
The cafe is now in the smaller side of the business, featuring seating for fewer people, allowing Lewis to “follow her heart” with her new concept.
Alexis Brame, Lewis’s daughter, said her mother decided around the first of the year to make the switch.
“It was a group effort of all the employees that were here — we’re like a little family,” said Brame, who works at the business part time. “She made the switch because the tea room was more like a project. We wanted to revamp or re-brand, to make it more modern.”
“I wanted a smaller walk-in that is friendly and has a wider demographic,” said Lewis. “I’ve actually seen more men and couples and non-millennials come in.”
The new tea room features baked goods, sandwiches, gluten-free salads, seasonal drinks, artisan teas and lavender lemonade among its choices.
“We have a new drink called Sunset Lemonade that changes colors when we pour the tea in it. It’s made with all natural, organic, fair trade ingredients. All the teas are made this way,” Brame said. “We have more than 200 different teas on-site.”
Sandwiches include chicken salad and salmon salad, along with a popular ham, apple and cheddar sandwich.
“High tea” is another special feature Lewis is initiating
“High tea is English-style, served on a tier with scones and finger sandwiches. It will be held on Tuesdays only and by reservation only,” Lewis said.
Lewis’s approach is unique in that she is the only tea blender in the area. After eight years of operation, she has discovered that many people want to go more medicinal with their teas to solve health problems.
“People come in from all over for Gold Leaf teas and herbs,” Lewis said. “In our downtown area, we are manufacturers of our own products.”
If visitors to the tea cafe don’t see what they want on the main menu, the tea room offers a way to create a personalized repast.
“We have a build-your-own line of menu items, other than just our sandwiches,” said Brame, indicating a lengthy selection of items to choose from.
Lewis is proud that the former tea room location was voted a finalist in the Best of Dayton Magazine late last year.
“People have a romantic idea about tea rooms,” she said.
Lewis plans to create additional things for families and adults, but those plans have not been completed at this time.
The Living Garden Tea Cafe is closed on Sundays and Mondays. For more information or to make a high tea reservation, call (937) 667-GOLD. Also, follow Living Garden Tea Cafe on Facebook.