Garden Party Coffee & Tea announces grand opening in South Hills Shopping Center

By Monica Stark

South Land Park residents Tony and Elizabeth Moseby announced the grand opening of the long-awaited Garden Party Coffee & Tea shop to be held on Saturday, Dec. 2. As this article went to press, a soft opening was in the works for Thursday, Nov. 16.
With 13 different teas ranging from Earl Grey to Dragonwell, as well as healthful herbs and powders and coffee from the shores of Kaui and Seattle, Garden Party Coffee & Tea will also offer items for everyday, “uncomplicated folk”, like Elizabeth Moseby herself. All coffees from fair trade and organic sources whether Honduras, South America, the African Continent, or American territories. Efforts to bring locally roasted coffee have also been made.
The store will welcome folks to gather, stay and unwind. The store will also offer a space for children to shop. Local artists and musicians will be welcome to share their gifts as desired and needed. The store may offer formal tea Sunday events, where grandmas and moms, little girls and little boys, too, depending on the environment, can dress up and enjoy delicate snacks and cups of tea.
After initial plans fell through for opening up a coffee shop in the South Hills Shopping Center last year, Elizabeth explained the concept of a store seemed more appropriate for potential customers. “I searched and inquired but couldn’t find a site that was already set up for being a food service business that would serve the South Land Park community the way people described what they wanted to me,” she said. Meanwhile, she still felt compelled to find a way for people to have access to quality teas and coffees. Identifying with the theme of the Ricky Nelson song “Garden Party”, Elizabeth decided to keep the name of the shop despite changing the concept of the business from a cafe to a store. “It is so appropriate. I just really identify with the Ricky Nelson song and how a person can change and be true to herself,” she said.
Perhaps that theme resonates further into the story of Elizabeth’s journey to open up the coffee and tea shop. After 22 years in the teaching field, the now retired Pony Express third grade GATE teacher said her own health was declining and she wasn’t there enough for her students. Taking an early retirement was a hard decision, she says. “But, it was the right one to pass the torch on to younger and stronger teachers.” And all along, in fact ever since she was a child herself, tea drinking held a special place in her life that continued through out her life. “My older brother introduced me to English breakfast teas when I was a child. He showed me the difference between drinking a tea with lemon and tea with cream. Jasmine tea is still my favorite daytime tea and chamomile is my favorite evening blend. But for summer iced teas, I love a good spice tea,” she said.
An ancient and time-honored practice, Elizabeth said over the years she has met many people who are so passionate about this subject and she just loves listening to their stories. Paraphrasing Jewish scribe Ben Sira, she said, “Herbs for health are a blessing from the Lord … a piece of wood can sweeten water. Drinking tea is ancient and time-honored practice. This store fills a basic human need that people share.”
Garden Party Coffee & Tea will be located 5972 South Land Park Drive. It’s the corner store closest to the street to the east of the post office

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