Jul. 22—POTTSVILLE — A historic building in Garfield Square is now home to a store selling tea and gifts.
Lavelle resident Erik Tice opened Hydrangea Cottage Tea and Gifts at 409 W. Market St. on June 23. He started the business from his home in September while his son, Jacob, 15, participated in virtual learning. The venture got such a good response that he decided to expand.
"We were running out of room at home," he remarked of his decision to open a storefront.
Opening the store is the culmination of a dream. Tice, who worked at Romberger Furniture in Valley View, said he has always been interested in home décor, art and design, having earned a bachelor's degree in interior design from the Bradley Academy for the Visual Arts in York.
"I've always wanted to have my own bed and breakfast or some sort of gift store," he said.
The store, in the former law offices of District Attorney Michael A. O'Pake, sells a variety of flavors of teas, as well as scones, homemade candles and soaps, natural oils and graham pretzels, many of which are made in Pennsylvania. Tice said he plans to change up what he sells based on the season.
Having looked at several other towns in the county to open the store, he said he chose Pottsville because of the city's revitalization efforts. The building was purchased in April.
"I thought this would add something it didn't have," Tice said. "There isn't anything similar to (my business) in the area."
He said he chose the building, constructed in 1900, because he wanted customers to feel like they were coming into a home rather than a business. Doing so allows them to feel relaxed.
"I didn't want a storefront or mall," Tice said.
Neighboring businesses and residents have stopped by to compliment Tice. A person who lives next door told him she was happy to see someone occupying the space.
Some customers have made the trip from northern Schuylkill County to see Tice's new store and he said he has numerous customers from the city and other areas.
The business is on the first floor, and he plans to use the upper floor for small groups, as well as set up small tables and chairs for customers to have tea.
The store is currently open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-628-6028; @Cleespot on Twitter
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