Local loose leaf tea store faces steep climb to serve steaming steeps before snow
Delta Hirsch, CONTRIBUTOR
Stepping into The Amsterdam Tea Room, you can instantly feel a sense of European comfort. The newest retail addition to the Exchange offers a variety of loose-leaf teas, tea accessories, tea books, and a small gallery featuring work by local artists.
Partners Mark Turner and Dan Card have a great future planned for this European style tearoom.
“We want to offer a cozy place where people can come sip tea and watch the world go by,” Turner said.
Right now they are only a retail space, unable to be licensed to sell cups of tea until they get the proper plumbing in the space. Turner projects that by early spring of 2017, they will be serving tea by the cup, and opening a patio for people to relax and look out at the heart of the Exchange District.
To welcome students, Turner and Card created “study packs” which include a Back To School Pack, which is available now, and a Mid-Term Cram Pack that will be available Oct. 1, both for 40 per cent off. Students are also offered a 20 per cent discount on all of their teas—over 70 to choose from. The tea, which is imported from all over the world, is from farms that do not use chemicals for growths.
There has been talk of building a skating rink in Old Market Square in the winter, which would be a great addition to this tea shop, given its proximity to where the rink would be built.
“It’s the perfect opportunity to offer a cozy cup of tea with a winter skate,” Turner said.
Courtney McGraw, a Red River College business administration student, believes the Amsterdam Tea Room will be a great destination.
“The Exchange is very different from the rest of Winnipeg,” McGraw said, adding that the tearoom will enhance the diversity of the area.
They have also incorporated a small non-profit art gallery feature on their rustic brick wall.
“It’s a space for artists to display their work who normally wouldn’t be able to,” Turner said.
The art gallery is currently featuring work by Arlea Smashcroft. She will be showcasing her work in the space on Sept. 24, an evening open to the public. The Amsterdam Tea Room will also be featuring Smashcroft’s work during Nuit Blanche, an annual art event in the downtown area that’s scheduled for Oct. 1.