By: Larry Oskin
After falling in love with the beauty of Historic Downtown Clermont, during Light Up Clermont, the owners Erika and Leila Shanoff fell in love with the quaint, small hometown feel. These two women have been tea room aficionados for many years, visiting tea rooms around the world. Their dream was to open a very special tea room after retirement. Their dreams have become reality. Erika’s Tea Room & Gifts opened its doors in August 2014.
The name for Erika’s Tea Room came from Leila Shanoff who says, “I know that my daughter Erika has always given me all of the luck in the world! She is everything to me, as my daughter and closest friend! The day we incorporated, was Erika’s birthday.” Erika’s Tea Room is decorated like an old English-style parlor with antiques, china, tablecloths, soft music, old-fashioned sugar cubes, and vintage accessories. It remains homey, friendly, quaint, quiet and delightful. This is definitely not a typical restaurant. Their distinctively unique ambiance makes you feel like you are always welcome!
High Tea & More: Since opening, Erika’s Tea Room & Gifts has expanded from 60 to almost 150 different savory teas from across the world. They offer teapots, tea accessories, tea tastings and a wonderful tea room for the opportunity to quietly celebrate High Tea with friends and family for a day out as well as for special occasions. They want everyone to be able to celebrate the luxurious experience and flavors of High Tea.
Their delicious all-inclusive High Tea menus change daily with delicious selections of scones, homemade soups, types of sandwiches, quiche and many freshly made desserts. Their most popular treats include Crème Brulee scones, cream of carrot soup as well as homemade turkey salad made with almonds and cherries. They even have a wonderfully special brownie made with six types of chocolate. With Mom Shanoff as the head chef, they proudly offer healthier, heartier and more robust portions. Everything is homemade from scratch. They use no starters or mixes. They offer gluten-free and vegetarian menus upon request. They will create customized menus for groups.
Special Events: Erika’s celebrates many diverse holidays and occasions with theme evening events using special menus and entertainment for excitement throughout the year. Some events offered were I Love Lucy, Hairspray, Star Wars, Jane Austin, and many others. They also do special menus for Black Friday, Mother’s Day, Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day and Valentine’s Day. Upcoming events include Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Meet Me in St. Louis, Gilligan’s Island Murder Mystery Night and a wonderful 2019 calendar of creative venues. These events always include a delicious four-course dinner with four teas, trivia, DIY projects and fun contests.
Endless Extras! Erika’s Tea Room offers catering, customized cakes and special private events for showers, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, family reunions and baby naming’s. They also offer cooking and tea workshops with demonstrations. Groups of 15 to 20 or more can sign up to have Erika’s help you create your own special event. You can sign up for their Tea Of The Month Club.
Erika’s Gift Shop: This quaint little shop shares a little slice of tea heaven with gifts for moms, daughters, aunts, grandmothers, sisters and every tea lover from around the world. With over 140 tea blends, teapots, tea, brewing accessories and jewelry with extraordinarily diversified merchandise; there really is something for everyone.
Certified Tea Masters: Erika and Leila Shanoff are trained and certified Tea Masters. They are also formally trained Etiquette coaches. Erika was formerly a public-school teacher for grades 5 through 12 as well as a literacy coach. They have proudly been featured in Tea Time Magazine and numerous local media outlets. They have regular clients who visit from California, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire and across the USA. Erika is the President of the Clermont Downtown Partnership, actively promoting local business and community events. They regularly support numerous local Clermont area charities and fundraisers.
Foods Made With Love! Leila Shanoff notes, “Our homemade food is always made with love! I absolutely love cooking for people. I don’t want anyone to ever leave hungry. We love that our loyal patrons come back again and again with their friends, co-workers, and family. We do our best to pamper everyone with a High Tea experience. We are very proud of the fact that most of our customers may enter as strangers and leave as good friends!”
Visit Now: Erika’s Tea Room & Gifts is open Tuesday through Saturday with the store hours from 10 AM to 5 PM and the Tea Room hours from 11 am to 4 pm. They are open every Sunday with the store hours from 10 am to 2 pm and the Tea Room hours from 11 am to 2 pm. They are closed on Mondays. Visit Erika’s Tea Room & Gifts at787 West Montrose Street, Clermont 34711, phone: 908-670-2305, mail: ErikasTeaRoom@GMail.comand visit: www.ErikasTeaRoom.com.
(photos courtesy of Larry Oskin)
EDITORIAL NOTE: Larry Oskin is a writer for the South Lake Tablet. He is the owner of Marketing Solutions / Art Beautique, offering creative marketing, media relations, and professional fine art photography services. He is a board member of the Clermont Downtown Partnership and member of the Clermont Historic Village volunteer team dedicated to revitalizing the Historic Downtown District. For more information, contact Oskin at 407-395-9007 or at LOskin@MktgSols.com. WEB: www.ArtBeautique.com; http://larry-oskin.artistwebsites.com/galleries.html WEB: www.ModelMayhem.com/LOskin www.MktgSols.com