After a life in the corporate fast lane, Charlestown’s Tracy Zimmerman has decided to slow down for a cup of tea.
The Charlestown resident has recently taken over ownership of Charlestown Tea & Treats, which was briefly Evy’s Tea Bar and before that Sorrelle’s, and opened up the doors last week.
“We took over at the end of March and spent much of April remodeling and opened this week,” said Zimmerman last Thursday, April 26. “We tried to make it a lot more warm and cozy and a place to sit down and escape the hustle of the city. Even if it’s just for five minutes, that’s something you need.”
Zimmerman said she was a big fan of Evy’s, but saw they weren’t doing well in the new location. Craving a change from her corporate job, she decided to see if Evy would sell.
“This is brand new for me,” she said. “My background is in corporate America. I worked for blue chip companies, putting together teams and acting as a chief communications officer. The opportunity came up, and I decided to take it.”
One of her first moves was keeping Charlestown resident Sophia Parziale, who has a background in retail and lives basically across the street from the Monument Avenue location.
“She has a background in small business, and she knows the customer base,” said Zimmerman. “The transition from corporate America to small town business isn’t an easy one. You need someone who knows how it’s done, and she’s been a phenomenal mentor.”
Parziale said she has enjoyed ramping up for the new venture.
“We’ve been learning together,” she said. “Tea is so different from coffee. It’s a more intensive process and very different than coffee.”
Zimmerman developed an appreciation for fine teas when traveling as part of her job, sampling teas from all over the world and coming to like it better than coffee – which was something she never enjoyed. However, she has added a coffee selection from a small business roaster from Cape Cod.
One of her favorites on hand from the caffeinated category is the Darjeeling Earl Grey. For non-caffeinated, she prefers the peppermint or chamomile.
Zimmerman has also introduced several food items, including baked good, bagels and a summer treat of homemade, tea-based ice creams.
All of her products are mostly sourced from local people as much as possible, and she said she tries to feature local companies in the store as well.
The new tea bar is located at 1 Monument Ave. and is open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.