Belamari Tea Room
The idea for Belamari Tea Room was born in Paris on November, 2002 when three sisters, Lynne, Valerie and Karen Henderson raised their teacups in a toast to honor their recently deceased Mother at a tea salon across from the Louvre. The name "Belamari" is a combination of the names of the sisters' late Grandmother, Emma Bell and their Mother, Edna Marie; a wonderful way to celebrate their heritage and start a business in honor of their matriarchs.
The three sisters began their journey by learning as much as they could about the industry and their particular niche market. They trained with industry experts, attended seminars, read books and experienced tea in France, Germany, the U.K., and several states in the U.S. As a result, they have gained a wealth of information about tea, its service, preparation and etiquette. Although the sisters bring experience from diverse backgrounds (information technology, the fashion industry, and banking), their love for tea is the common denominator.
In August 2004 Valerie and Lynne attended the Business Plan Writing Workshop offered by the NJSBDC @ Rutgers-Newark. "The workshop helped us to fine-tune and focus our strategy, specifically in terms of our marketing activities" says Valerie.
After completing the workshop the sisters found it challenging to secure the financing recurred to start the business. Undeterred, the sisters were able to cover the start-up costs with their own funds and assistance from their family.
Belamari Tea Room opened its doors on December 2004 and was immediately well received by the community. The business which currently has six employees is located in Hawthorne, New Jersey. Belamari Tea Room provides a wonderful experience for its customers and also offers catering services, and a venue for special events.
When asked if they could provide advice for anyone interested in starting a business Valerie suggested "you must conduct thorough research to ensure that you start the business with the correct amount of capital, hire a good real estate attorney to negotiate the lease, and don't underestimate the amount needed for marketing it is critical".
We congratulate these Three Queens on their success.
Belamari Tea Room
198 Diamond Bridge Avenue in Hawthorne, NJ