A tea shop in downtown Hamilton that opened two years now has plans to expand by adding seating and serving tea and pastries.
Jolie Tea Co. at 26 Bay Road plans to expand into neighboring space that was most recently occupied by Country Crossroad Real Estate, which moved out.
“We have a large demand from our customers to serve tea,” said owner Amy Job.
In addition to adding five tables, Job said she plans to serve tea and pastries. There will not be a kitchen in the new space and the pastries will be brought in, she said.
"There's not enough foot traffic to support take-out only," she said.
Currently, the store sells loose leaf teas. Jolie's teas are served at Wenham Tea House too.
By serving cups of brewed tea in the store, it is a good way for customers to try out teas they've never had before, Job told the Salem News in a report on Wednesday.
She also said that the addition of a cafe will increase foot traffic in the area and help neighboring business in the village. The expansion could also allow the store to further its special events, such as past visits from musicians and authors.
The plans needed to undergo site plan review by the Zoning Board of Appeals. On Wednesday at Hamilton Town Hall, the board unanimously backed the plans and granted its permission after the Planning Board gave a similar blessing last month.
There’s still one bump in the road for the plan – the building’s septic system, which is shared with neighboring Black Cow restaurant, is “maxed out,” Job told the Zoning Board. She is working on plans to apply for a variance from the Board of Health.
Job also said that parking should not be an issue, since there's plenty of parking behind the store in the Black Cow's parking lot. The two business are compatible uses for the lot, with the tea shop and cafe generating parking demand during the day and the restaurant in the evening.
At least one neighbor said the plans to serve tea and pastries in a great addition to a business that has already been welcome addition to the area.
“I think that it will be a tremendous addition to the village,” said Barbara Lawrence, who lives around the corner on Willow Street.