After the bustling holiday shopping season of 1981, the young owners of a small, relatively new restaurant in Wyandotte called “The Nibbler,” encountered the January business blues and post holiday decline that inevitably follows the holiday shopping exuberance of the preceding couple of months. Their small restaurant was still experiencing the growing pangs of a new business, so a prolonged slow-down could spell disaster. The couple put their heads together to come up with a strategy to re-invigorate their flagging sales; and hit on a novel solution.
The man’s mother, Rita, had spent many years entertaining her co-workers, family, and friends by giving them Tea Leaf Readings. The couple seized on this off-beat activity as just the thing to appeal to their clientele. On the following Friday, that is just what they did. Every customer that expressed an interest was given a free reading after their meal.
Diners were delighted with this unexpected bonus, and whether they were just interested or merely psy-curious, word traveled through town like wildfire. The following Friday, business nearly doubled—on the Friday after that, business was better yet. Part of the success was Rita herself. In her mid-sixties, her snow white hair was pulled back into a soft French twist, her fair skin and rosy cheeks seemed to make her glow. Her blue eyes truly seemed to twinkle. With her Boston accent and grand-motherly figure, she inspired confidence and her warm personality said “fun.” Her matter-of-fact readings were often accompanied with direct and earthy advice. The combination was irresistible.
The owners of the Nibbler realized they had a hit on their hands. But the logistics of running a restaurant and providing readings at the same time were too unwieldy; the answer was a separate and distinct location for a Tea Room. Within a few months a location was secured, the space was painted and prepared. Additional readers were interviewed and the best ones were hired. By spring of 1982, the Boston Tea Room opened its doors for the first time. From concept to opening was a mere three months.
Rita and the other five newly hired readers were an immediate success.
In 1996, after a career change, the original owner sold the Tea Room to her cousin. The Tea Room has remained a family business since it began. The current owner is Carole Navarre, whose two daughters, Heatherleigh and Vanessa, help manage with her.
The management team has sought to expand the vision, services, and strengthen the standard of customer service. In our 29+ years in business, the Boston Tea Room has endured economic good times and bad times as well, but riding the waves of economic times, changing popular culture, and learning to adapt has helped us stay afloat, while we have seen similar businesses come and go.
Recognizing the elements of excellence in customer service and delivering it time after time is our goal. Our staff is encouraged to continue learning and mentoring others—to realize that there is always something new to learn and to always honor the client and the gift they share. We continue to grow, evolve, and find joy in a business that entertains, surprises, enlightens, and stimulates spiritual growth.
Thanks to the first owners for their original inspiration which continues to motivate the current management team. Together we will celebrate our 30th anniversary in the spring. And thanks to our many clients for their continued support on this marvelous journey.