Fiorella Vega wants her new business, Fiorella Tea & Flower House at 7628 Lockwood Ridge Road, to be a community space where friends can meet over a pot of tea, have lunch or gather for a special event.
“Think of this as an everyday place,” she says. “I want people to take the time from their busy lives and relax and get away from it all. We have to make time for ourselves and the people we love.”
Vega, a 30-year veteran of the corporate world as a manager for Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Macy’s and Sears, did her research and believes the area is ready for a tea house.
“Tea is the second-largest beverage in the world, right behind water,” she said. “My vision is to provide a venue for people to come and connect. I feel that tea does that. Tea is more relaxing than coffee and you get more health benefits.”
Her business has been open for two weeks, and Vega already is partnering with wellness coaches and plans to present classes on healthy living. Among her first offerings will be Tea 101, a class that she will teach herself.
“I want to educate people on tea and its benefits,” she said. “Tea is good if you drink it three times a day. It’s also good for digestion after you eat.”
Fiorella Tea offers guests a selection of high-quality loose-leaf teas and specialty tea gifts, and also serves traditional afternoon tea.
Vega says her business offers a venue for private parties, birthdays, bridal showers and baby showers. Among the party themes: princess, unicorn, Lego, space, spa and art tea.
The large, family-style dining table in the middle of the floor as well as smaller boutique tables for two are designed to put guests at ease as they shop, drink tea or look at the paintings and sculpture from the Parrish Arts Council.
Vega offers catering and mobile tea service. She is looking for musicians, such as a saxophone player or acoustic guitarist, to provide music for special events. Coming soon will be a subscription service for home delivery of tea each quarter.
As a long-time retail veteran, she knows the importance of quality, cleanliness and customer service.
Born of Italian and Peruvian parents in Lima, Peru, her family moved to New Jersey when she was 6. She lived most of her childhood in the Fairlawn, N.J., area. She and her husband, Nilton Vega, live in Parrish with their two high school-aged children.
Her sister-in-law, Jackie Colacci, says Fiorella Tea is a great idea.
“I think she will do really well. She did a lot of research on what people are looking for,” Colacci said.
Lunch at Fiorella Tea starts at $5. Afternoon teas start at $14.95.
Planned events include a tea party to honor grandparents at 11 a.m. on Sunday, tea class 101 on Sept. 17, and a fall floral and dessert party on Sept. 27. Tickets for the floral and dessert party are required.
Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Reservations are encouraged.
For more information, call 941-358-2227 or visit the Fiorella Tea & Flower House Facebook page.