Make us your home page
Instagram

Patrons can 'feel good,' sip tea at downtown New Port Richey tea room

Kelly Hackman, 37, owns the White Heron Tea and Gifts in New Port Richey.

White Heron Tea Room and Gifts

Kelly Hackman, 37, owns the White Heron Tea and Gifts in New Port Richey.

NEW PORT RICHEY — The White Heron Tea Room and Gifts seats only 12.

It is tiny, admits owner Kelly Hackman. But that doesn't affect the goal Hackman has had for the "quaint, Florida-style gift shop and tea room" since she opened it last month.

"I want you to feel good when you leave," she said.

Hackman, 37, worked for the last two years as the executive director of Chasco Fiesta. She also has worked for the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce, as a marketing director for Greater New Port Richey Main Street and as a youth pastor at her church.

But she decided she wanted to start a business.

"Running Chasco was a great job, and I loved it," she said. But "when you're an executive director, you're running the whole show. I (decided) that if I was going to do that, I wanted to do it for myself."

First, she aimed to open a gift shop. But she wanted to add something to it. She got the idea for a tea room from her husband, who drove past one in Tampa.

He sent her a picture of it. Then, she visited.

"I fell in love," she said. "It was intimate, it was quiet, it was pretty."

So, she invited two friends and her mom to visit it with her. She told them to leave their cellphones in the car. What followed impressed her.

"We talked," she said, without disruptions.

"A conversation without interruptions is almost uncomfortable for people because they're not used to having an environment where they can unplug," she said. "A (tea room) gives you the opportunity to do that."

So, she opened one, with the gift shop.

The shop carries loose-leaf teas, plus tea accessories, Florida salt scrubs and sea-inspired jewelry.

The tea room serves the loose-leaf teas and sandwiches — traditional cucumber, plus chicken salad or turkey, and other options, like tomato and bacon with basil aioli — plus scones and small desserts.

But the experience the tea room can facilitate is what excites Hackman most.

"You can really focus on the person you're with; you can focus on the conversation," she said. "It's a lost art."

>>fast facts

The White Heron

The White Heron Tea Room and Gifts is at 6228 Grand Blvd. in downtown New Port Richey. The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Tea is served at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Reservations are recommended. Call (727) 203-3504 or visit thewhiteheronfl.com.

Patrons can 'feel good,' sip tea at downtown New Port Richey tea room 01/13/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 13, 2016 7:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]
  2. Pinellas licensing board loses support for staying independent

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board on Monday lost its strongest supporter for staying independent.

    State Sen. Jack Latvala, a Clearwater Republican running for governor, said Monday that he will no longer support any legislation to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board independent. This photo was taken in August. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Triad Retail Media names Sherry Smith as CEO

    Corporate

    ST. PETERSBURG — Triad Retail Media, a St. Petersburg-based digital ads company, said CEO Roger Berdusco is "leaving the company to pursue new opportunities" and a member of the executive team, Sherry Smith, is taking over.

    Sherry Smith is taking over as CEO at Triad Retail Media, the company announced Monday. | [Courtesy of Triad Retail Media]
  4. Two new condo projects for same street in downtown St. Pete

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — It lacks the panache and name recognition of Beach Drive, but 4th Avenue N in downtown St. Petersburg is becoming a condo row in its own right.

    Bezu, a condo project planned at 100 4th Ave. N in downtown St. Petersburg, will have 24 units including a three-level penthouse with infinity pool.
[Courtesy of Clear ph Design]
  5. AAA expects gas prices in Tampa Bay will continue to fall

    Autos

    Ticking slowly and steadily, regular gas prices have receded for the last 10 consecutive days. The average unleaded gas price in Florida is $2.67 this morning, a nickel cheaper than a week ago. In Tampa Bay, the current average unleaded gas has dropped 7 cents from a week ago to $2.62. The national average for regular …

    Gas prices for regular gas continue to decline. In Tampa Bay, the current average unleaded gas is down 7 cents from a week ago at $2.62 a gallon. [Times file photo]