Biography for Amy Lawrence
The idea of a tea room came to me in the summer of 2002. Previously I had been a special education teacher for Placer County in California teaching autistic students in the STEPS program. I have a Master’s Degree in Special Education and taught for 11 years. I took a 2 year break to be home with my own children. In August of 2002 while having tea with my mother, I told her, “This is what I want to do now! I want my own tea room.” I love to cook and have always enjoyed catering for special parties. In November of 2002, I went to Magnolia and Ivy’s Tea Conference and also became a certified tea consultant through Irene’s Teas. It all began from there. I flew to Missouri where my parents retired and bought all the antiques for the tea room. We drove a 26 foot U-Haul truck back to Newcastle, California. In March of 2003 the renovations began. With the help of dedicated family and friends, we finally opened on August 27, 2003.
In 2006, we won the Reader’s Choice Award for the Best Small City Tea Room in the U.S. In 2007 and 2008 we won KCRA’s A List for our category. Also in 2008 we won Sacramento Magazine’s Best of the Best award for our category.
In 2009, I closed my tea room in order to be home more with my family and to devote full-time to my other companies: Afternoon to Remember Fine Tea and Gifts and ATR Publishing. I currently have published 8 books ( 7 cookbooks and one marketing book) and have sold more than 12,000 of them.
This past summer my husband accepted a position with Amazon in Seattle so we packed up the family and moved from California to the Seattle area. My entire family loves tea. They also play a huge part in my tea business. My husband is a computer geek and does my website, my sons are now 14 and 10 and love tea. You may see them from time to time at festivals, events and on the website. They are a great help! My mother flies out from time to time to help me with festivals and events. She has been a seamstress for over 30 years and makes all of my cozies.
I still enjoy teaching and love to teach classes- particularly those held at the World Tea Expo for other tea room owners in Las Vegas every year. Teaching and supporting other tea room owners has become a huge passion for me. I am currently working on several new projects, including another cookbook and a book of resources for new tea room owners.