When Glenda Tonski and Belinda Williams compared their numbers to last year, business had dropped 75 percent.
After owning La Tea Da Tea Room for three years, the mother-daughter duo was faced with the difficult decision to close the business.
“Mandates took away too much of our ability for income with the regulations,” Tonski said about the impact of COVID-19. “We could have gone after a loan. But, we chose to let the business go instead of putting our family in that situation.”
Due to COVID-19, in-person service in the tea room was forced to dropped their capacity from eight tables to six and increased sanitation measures impacted the customer experience.
“We could only seat three tables at a time because you have to change out everything. That meant changing out tablecloths and not having sugar cubes or anything open on the tables,” Tonski said. “There were so many pieces of our environment that were taken away that it lost a lot of what was special.”
The new regulations also effected their employment objective.
“It made it so we couldn’t employ the youth which was our main mission. We worked to give the young 14-15 years-olds their first job,” Tonski said.
Tonski and Williams purchased La Tea Da Tea Room in January 2017 after it had already been in operation for 15 years. They announced earlier this summer that their last day of tea service would be August 29.
“Everyone is very, very sad. A lot of people have a lot of memories coming here with their families,” said Tonski.
La Tea Da will host a close-out-sale Sept. 17-19 from 10 am – 3 pm with everything in the store at 50 percent off listed prices.
“We had so much fun. The fun we had in the kitchen creating the taste combinations and laughing as we did that,” Tonski said of her and Williams time in the business. “We really really appreciate the support the community did give us. Even here at the end, all the people who have come in and said how sad they are and all the fond memories they have here.”