Rose of Sharon offers a new lunch destination in Calera

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Calera friend called to tell us about Rose of Sharon, a new teahouse, coffee and gift shop.

She was so enthusiastic that, of course, we had to try it right away.

Two of us visited on different occasions.

On our first visit, we had no trouble finding the teahouse; it&8217;s located on 17th Avenue in Calera, next to the railroad track.

For many years a family home, the little 1940&8217;s bungalow has been given a new life.

We were welcomed by owner Genevieve Jackson and Hilda Schmidt, who proudly gave us a tour.

Miriam Martin also owns the tea room.

There are three small dining rooms.

The Country Room is just that, filled with many charming country dining and kitchen items.

Next is the Victorian Room. And of course it&8217;s decorated with pictures, china and silver reminiscent of the Victorian age.

Then there&8217;s the Sunshine Room, bright and cheerful with blue and white wallpaper. The entrance features an assortment of unusual cards and small gifts.

There were tablecloths and flowers and there was the wonderful scent of cinnamon in the air.

We chose a table by the window and were almost immediately brought a complimentary cup of French onion soup; just right for that cold day.

The menu features an interesting array of sandwiches and salads, as well as special teas and coffee.

There are also daily special desserts and their own Famous German Cheesecake.

My friend ordered the reuben sandwich on rye ($6.95).

It was generously filled with thinly sliced corned beef, kraut and Swiss cheese.

She pronounced it very good.

I had a wonderful chicken salad sandwich ($6.95) with lots of tender chicken, grapes, celery and nuts.

The peach tea ($1.95) was also


That first trip just naturally called for another and it was as enjoyable as the first.

Along with a sandwich we had the refreshing frozen fruit salad ($1.95).

When the hostess discovered that we were celebrating my friend&8217;s birthday, she surprised her with a slice of the cheesecake &045; really yummy!

On the back of the menu, ladies are invited to go back in time for high tea.

All that is needed is provided, including gloves, minks and jewelry.

Folks have a grand time dressing up in the Victorian finery.

Two grandmothers recently brought their granddaughters, age 6 and 10, for tea.

They had a wonderful experience that they won&8217;t soon forget.

Annie June Ozley Taff, who grew up in the house, happened to be seated at the table next to ours.

She remarked, &8220;It was very hard for me to make any changes to our old home, but it gives me great pleasure to have it used in this way and I know it will be a real asset for Calera.&8221;

Ms. Jackson told us that the teahouse was her dream for many years.

Her own mother had made teatime a tradition in their home.

Ms. Schmidt added, &8220;In addition to serving good food in an interesting atmosphere, we want this to be a place where people can come for someone to talk with.&8221;

They have done just that; the food is good and served along with friendly conversation.

The teahouse is located at 1111 17th Street in Calera. Their phone number is 668-6282, and they are open Wed.-Sat. from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Catherine Legg may be reached via e-mail at