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Tea Shoppe expands offerings


Business offers catering services


A little more than a year ago, Lisa Biafore changed the landscape at Beechurst Avenue’s Seneca Center, by opening The Tea Shoppe.

 

Now, she, along with her friend and business partner Diana Rice, owner of Bon Appetit Personal Chef Service, are aiming to change Morgantown’s cocktail party scene.

 

The two have merged their expertise to create The Tea Shoppe Catering Co. — a full service operation that provides classic and custom party options to customers.

 

“We’re talking we’ll bring the dishes, we’ll bring the food, we’ll bring the servers, a hostess, and all you need to do is invite your guests and we will take care of everything else for you,” Biafore said.

The venture was conceived after several large groups approached Biafore, hoping to host parties at The Tea Shoppe, but there wasn’t ample room to accommodate them.

 

“The dining area is small, and we would have large groups who would want to have like an afternoon tea, and we could not support that here,” Biafore said. “So Diana, who’s been doing personal chef service, this allowed us to kind of expand into the realm where we now bring everything to the customer’s home.”

 

But don’t think the tea parties is all these ladies do.

 

“We have the classic afternoon tea service,” Rice said. “We can do a children’s tea party, we can have a tea bar, where we have the tea-ristas who will service the tea to you. What’s nice though — we can cater/custom to any occasion so we’re not limited to just The Tea Shoppe menu, per se.”

 

Some of those other parties include tailgates, bridal showers, baby showers and cocktail parties.

 

“Cocktail parties would be a big thing, because the food tends to be more of the savory size — bite-sized desserts, savory-size sandwiches and so on,” Biafore said. Which, being a tea shop, is their speciality. 

 

 Food can be prepared at The Tea Shoppe and brought over, or prepared on site, she added. Whichever the customer prefers.

 

Dawn Milne recently hosted a baby shower, and was thrilled with the service The Tea Shoppe Catering Co. provided.

 

“[Lisa Biafore] and Diana came and set up everything,” she said. “First they came out and looked at the place to see what was possible, so that was nice. Then for the shower, they made everything, served everything, came out and talked to the guests, and cleaned up everything.”

 

For the party, Biafore and Rice prepared a variety of tea sandwiches, mini sweets, mini quiches, a selection of seafood bites and “wonderful chocolate-covered strawberries.” 

They also served a selection of four teas.

 

Not only was the food wonderful, Milne said, but plentiful, as well.

 

“I had so many leftovers, and they fixed them all up and labeled them to freeze,” she said.

 

Everything was provided, from serviceware to tablecloths to  napkins.

 

Milne said she was already a fan of The Tea Shoppe — and is now a huge fan of its catering branch, too.

 

“I would absolutely [recommend it]. It was just charming,” Milne said. “It was just really charming. I was so pleased, and it was so much fun not having to do any of the work. I think they’re so nice to work with, and so flexible they would work with you for anything you wanted to do.”