Sipping cares away

Published 6:53 pm Monday, September 22, 2008

Less than a mile off Highway 280 sits a Shelby County charm. As soon as you step inside the door of Miss Rosemarie’s Special Teas, the stresses of everyday life vanish in front of your eyes.

“I wanted it to be a haven, a place where people could come to close out the outside world,” said Rosemarie Kramer, owner of the tearoom.

Kramer opened the tearoom after moving to Birmingham from California in 2001, but tea has been a part of her life since she was born.

“My mom would drink tea, and she would have card parties,” Kramer said.

Kramer said that watching her mom entertain guests as a young child helped her grow up to be a good hostess. Kramer would entertain people at her home and many would urge her to open a tearoom.

“My friends would say, ‘You do such a beautiful job, you should open a tearoom,’” Kramer said.

But Kramer and her husband were always moving, and she didn’t feel she would be in one place for long enough to open one. Then Kramer’s husband got a job in Birmingham and Kramer said she felt God telling her to open a tearoom.

“I really felt God was sending us here for a reason,” Kramer said. “I said, ‘OK Lord, show me what it is that you want me to do.’”

After that Kramer said everything fell into place, including a chef, which was very important to Kramer.

“You have to have good food to keep people coming,” Kramer said. “I give my chefs the ability to come up with the (day’s) specials, the quiches and the soups.”

As Kramer prepared for the tearoom to open, she sat down with the chef and suggested they come up with a hearty lunch special for the tearoom to have each day so that men would feel comfortable in the tearoom as well. After the tearoom had been open for a while, it was the men who talked Kramer into incorporating a dinner.

“They talked me into doing a dinner the third Thursday of every month,” Kramer said.

Along with good food, Kramer has created six signature teas that she has self-blended herself. Kramer’s shop is also the only one in the area to offer loose leaf teas, making her tearoom unique.

“There is nothing like this,” Kramer said. “This is an original, this is unique.”

Though the food and tea are the top priorities for Kramer’s tearoom, she also spends a lot of her time educating her customers and people around the city about tea.

“I just want people to taste the different teas –– it might expose them to something else they may like,” Kramer said.

Kramer, who is currently working on producing her third cookbook, has lectured around Birmingham. Not only does she offer a place to relax, sip on tea and eat, her tearoom also offers a wide variety of gifts. The tearoom is also open for events, such as birthdays, bridal teas and dress rehearsals.

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