Credit a grandchild with bringing a tea room to McMinnville.
Kimberly Taylor and her husband Mark had been living in Nottingham, England for the past 12 years when Kimberly determined she had been on the other side of the pond long enough.
“We came back two years ago to visit for Christmas and that’s when I told my husband I wanted to come back home for good. I have a grand baby now,” said Kimmi referring to granddaughter Ella. “My husband is English, but he loved it here too. It was Christmas so downtown was all lit up with lights and it looked great. He made me drive around the block three times because he wanted to keep looking at the lights.”
Kimmi wanted to bring a piece of England back with her to Tennessee and that’s when the concept of Kimmi’s Tea Room was born. The restaurant on North Spring Street opened Monday.
As its names suggests, Kimmi’s Tea Room features 18 kinds of tea for all different tastes. There are teas from fruity to mint. Tea can be served hot or iced. There are also several coffee flavors to accompany a wide selection of sweets.
One unique item is a scone, which isn’t served much around these parts. A scone is like a biscuit with cream and jam.
Victoria’s sponge is another tasty treat with two sponge cakes acting like a sandwich for the sugary filling in the middle.
The English flapjacks are not like pancakes at all. They resemble granola bars with honey, molasses, oats and other desirable additions like chocolate chips, raisins and nuts.
If you’re like me and a member of the Banana Pudding Fan Club, Kimmi says she has a recipe your mouth will appreciate featuring her own homemade custard. It does sound deliciously tempting.
“This is a mixture of American and English menu items,” said Kimmi. “We joke that it’s Tengland, a combination of Tennessee and England.”
Kimmi doesn’t want her tea, coffee and sweets to overshadow a talented lunch menu which will be expanding. She is encouraged by the response to her tomato basil soup, which was a complete sell out Thursday. She has meat and cheese wraps, and sandwiches including tuna, egg salad and chicken salad.
“We’re starting out with a small menu and we’re going to work our way up,” said Kimmi. “Right now we’re in our soft opening phase. Our grand opening will be Dec. 15.”
Kimmi and her daughter, Kayla Lekki, have done a masterful job of reviving what had been a junkyard of a storefront at the old Walling Arcade at 110 North Spring Street. The building is next to the old Dinty Moore Restaurant, which is a well-known downtown landmark.
There appears to be ample space for eating lunch and also plush furniture with billowy cushions for intense comfort. The décor is practical, yet remarkably cozy. Kimmi wants to stress her tea room is not just for ladies. She says men have wolfed down her cooking and enjoyed her hot beverages.
Hours are Monday thru Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lunch begins at 11 a.m. each day. For more information, the phone number is 473-BAKE.
skin at new spa
For centuries, there have been tales of an elusive Fountain of Youth, which is purported to restore the youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in its water. This story has been attached to Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon, who is said to have been searching for such a magical fountain when he traveled to what is now Florida in the early 1500s.
Natalie Gipson can’t return your youth, but she can help rejuvenate your skin and provide newfound radiance at her new business, Lavish Medical Spa. It’s located at 1012 South Chancery Street in the same building as USA Chiropractic.
If you’re looking for products you can buy and use at home, Natalie has several medical-grade creams from ZO Skin Health, a proven beauty leader.
“All of their products are FDA approved, which means they are not like the miracle creams you see on TV,” said Natalie. “They can’t claim to do anything they can’t. If you absolutely want to see a real change in your skin with a product you use at home, this is it.”
If you’re looking for skin care services, Natalie says oxygen facials are a favorite of celebrities because oxygen helps heal the skin and makes it appear young. Since bacteria can’t live in oxygen-rich zones, the treatments are an effective way to reduce breakouts. She says there are different types of serums which can be added to the oxygen to smooth wrinkles and provide skin tightening.
I could spend paragraphs elaborating on Natalie’s extensive lines of chemical peels, Botox, eyelash perming, facials and much more. But I think it’s sufficient to say she has just about everything to cater to your skin care needs. This includes the services of Cris Hamm, a nurse anesthetist capable of even more advanced treatments such as a non-surgical facelift. Wow!
If you’d like to learn more, I’d recommend visiting Lavish Medical Spa for yourself. The studio is catchy and looks like something fancy you’d see in ritzy Beverly Hills.
This Thursday, Dec. 7, provides an opportune time as Natalie is holding an open house from 2 to 6 p.m. There will be door prizes, snacks, discounts on treatments, and product representatives traveling from Knoxville and Atlanta.
If you can’t make the open house, there are regular office hours Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The easy-to-remember phone number is 474-SKIN.
New pool room
Ready to break
I’m a big supporter of options, especially entertainment options. I’ve found more options are usually better, unless you’re with a large group. In that case, more options usually lead to arguments and indecision.
McMinnville has another option when it comes to shooting pool, throwing darts and listening to music as Stacked Bistro at Plaza Shopping Center has put the finishing touches on a fitting addition. This was opening weekend for its new entertainment room.
“We’re becoming a bigger dinner option and this is an extension of that,” said Stacked Bistro owner Rich Pekarz. “It’s a nice place to hang out.”
Stacked Bistro has been at the front corner of Plaza Shopping Center in the old Gondola spot for a year. The deli sandwiches and free delivery have always been a hit for lunch. Rich says the jumbo wings and beer specials are among the items bringing in customers for dinner. There are also TVs if you don’t want to miss a big game during the weekend.
Stacked Bistro is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday thru Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Stop by and check out the new pool room.
While Stacked Bistro expanded into the back portion of the shopping area next door for its pool room, It All Makes Scents has taken the front portion. For business owner Kristin Beedle, the move to Plaza Shopping Center takes her away from her downtown roots.
“I like being here and we’ve been really busy,” said Kristin, who has been open at her new spot for about a month.
Essential oils remain a big part of her business. She says the oils can help with a variety of health issues and improve respiratory and sinus problems, among other things.
Kristin said homemade bath bombs made with the essential oils have been the bomb, meaning they are selling well. The bombs transform your normal bath into a soothing cocoon of relaxation.
Other store staples such a homemade soap, candles, flameless candles, incense, diffusers, and oil lamps are available. For additional questions, stop by the store or call (931) 224-3758.
Dr. Dean can
I guess you could say Dr. Andrew Dean is eyeing retirement. After working for 43 years and 2 days as an optometrist in McMinnville, Dr. Dean is retiring.
To honor his contributions to our collective eyesight, a retirement celebration is being held this Thursday, Dec. 7, from 3 to 5 p.m. at his office at 2069 Smithville Highway.
Andy attended McMinnville’s City High School, then enrolled in Tennessee Tech. From there, he attended Southern College of Optometry from 1969-73.
After that, Dr. Dean briefly worked in Cleveland before starting in McMinnville on Dec. 5, 1974. After about five years, he moved to Chancery Street at the spot where Advance Auto Parts is located today. He stayed in that location until 1987.
It was in July of 1987 that he moved to his current location near the fairgrounds. That means he’s made it over 30 years at the same spot.
To give Dr. Dean an official sendoff into retirement, be sure to stop by his office this Thursday afternoon.
That’s all folks
Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat. Please put a business tip in the cheetah’s hat.
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