CEDAR FALLS — The Tea Cellar’s name won’t be as apt after its move.
While they’ll no longer be in a cellar, they’ll still be a tea seller, said Dave Hill, who co-owns the store with his wife, Justeen Hill.
After doing business in the lower level of Basket of Daisies for more than two years, the tea shop is moving to its own location at 209 State St. Doors to the new shop open Jan. 10. The move begins Dec. 29.
The Tea Cellar got its moniker because of its current lower-level location.
“Going from a cellar to above ground has already caused a few stirs, if you will,” Justeen Hill said. “I don’t think there should be any reason why we can’t be known for being a tea cellar, even if it is above ground.”
Word of the Tea Cellar’s move flowed quickly to its loyal customers.
“The excitement is building and the customer feedback has been amazing,” Justeen Hill said. “We needed that just to know people do care.”
Moving to a new space won’t change the welcoming atmosphere customers get when they walk down into the Tea Cellar at its current location.
“The space is different but the people stay the same,” Hill said. “We will still keep that atmosphere when you walk in that it’s still a good place, and a place where you want to be, and you want to sip tea.”
The aesthetic of the previous location, including the wooden crate tea displays, will be continued at the shop’s new location.
“We feel like it’s not just the physicality of a cellar but it is the experience of a cellar,” said Justeen Hill. “We’re trying to make it as cellar-like as possible.”
Hill welcomes the sunlight gleaming through the large windows in the State Street location. A soothing gray — not Earl Grey — will greet customers. With about 2,800 square feet to work with — compared to the 1,000 square feet at their previous location — the Hills will be able to adorn their new location with tea and tea accoutrements, and open up floor space for more people to sit and sip.
“It’s almost triple in size,” Justeen Hill said.
The increased size presented a challenge to keep the space intimate. There’s a certain amount of coziness that goes along with tea, and the Hills intend to continue capturing that feeling on State Street.
“That is never going to be lost here,” Hill said.
Shop staff will be working at a 17-foot walnut counter from Fishsticks Millwork, a centerpiece feature in the new space. Ben Fisher, owner of Fishsticks, sent the Hills to “the barn” in Janesville, originally looking for barn wood.
“My husband happened to see the slice of wood at the bottom of the stack and asked about it,” Hill said.
It was a great, long, beautiful piece, Dave Hill said.
A cobalt blue awning bearing the Tea Cellar’s logo will mark the new storefront. Eric Michalowski, who designed the Tea Cellar’s logo, attributes the Tea Cellar’s success to Justeen Hill.
“It’s Justeen, that warmth that you get when you go down there, that is moving here,” Michalowski said. “You’re going to get Justeen doing the same thing that she does there, and it’s going to be as warm and cozy and accepted and human, and the experiences are going to be the same.”