Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Tea and Dumpling Party at T Project

Small businesses hold a special place in my heart. My mom worked for many years at my aunt and uncle's family business. She knew most of the customers, and probably knew their families, too. People talked about their kids and their lives as they did business. They connected one another to other local services. Customers were loyal and customer service was excellent. My sister and I roamed in and out of the shop, always leaving with a hug. It's not something seen in big-box or chain shopping, for sure. 

Last weekend I attended T Project's tea and dumpling party and was taken back to that feeling of a small business with heart. Teri Gelber runs this highly curated shop in Portland, Oregon. She offers her own tea blends and local/regional items like salts, jams, pottery, linens and clothing. 

I appreciated Teri's discussion of her desire to source teas from small farmers. She believes that small businesses help one another survive.

This event was a celebration of the Lunar New Year. We enjoyed conversation, teas and delicious foods. We started with traditional foods like dates, watermelon seeds and citrus.  

Teri brewed several rounds of tea: Dragonwell Green, Old Tree Sheng Pu-Erh, Bi Luo Chun Golden/Black and Da Hong Pao Oolong. As she brewed, we enjoyed handmade dumplings - fabulous!

And to finish off, we sampled an assortment of Japanese sweets from Gena at Yume Confections. It's another example of small businesses supporting one another. 

It was a beautiful afternoon. My senses were full of color, texture, flavor. I met new people and enjoyed the company of old friends. I was reminded of the importance of, the gift of small business.


Marilyn Miller said...

What a nice post. I hadn't thought about it that way, but after reading your post realized that was the main reason I attended. It was to support Teri and her small business. Loved your photographs too. I was so special being there with you and Mitra.

Teri Gelber said...

Thank You Stephanie. I DO believe in the small business. It's one of the threads of society that hold us all together and also accountable. Thank you for "getting" what I do. I want to sip more tea with you asap. I have so much to learn and my heart yearns for more tea with friends. So good to know you.

Frances Ku said...

Wonderful recap of our lovely event! Thank you so much for attending and for enjoying, Steph! It was so nice meeting you.
- Frankie, dumpling maker

Rosemary said...

What a very special event! And your support of small business is truly appreciated! Shop local, shop small!

Angela McRae said...

I, too, love to support small businesses. And since too many of them seem to come and go, it has emphasized to me that if we want them to be around very long, we *must* be intentional about supporting them!