Memories on Main Street Tea Room and Cafe opened in Blue Springs in late August.
About the business: Memories on Main Street Tea Room and Cafe, 1105A Main St., Blue Springs. Phone: 816-229-3311
About the owner: Many people in Blue Springs remember Vicki Jones.
She’s the one responsible for those intense deserts that were served at the tea room off Main Street. It closed a while back, but Vicki – well, she stayed around.
On Aug. 31, she opened Main Street Memories Tea Room and Cafe, located on, well, Main Street. Her decision to do so was part realized dream and part homage to her memories of Main Street while growing up.
“I remember the theater and Lowe’s Drug Store,” Jones said. “I have a lot of good memories of Blue Springs, and that’s why I decided to stay and not go to Lee’s Summit.
“I’m a Blue Springser.”
Now she’s a business owner, too, trying to make her way in a difficult economy and, let’s face it, a challenging area in which to do business: Main Street.
A few years ago, Jones learned that lesson while working for the tea house up the street. It was located in a large home, and while there was a faithful customer base, success just wasn’t in the cards.
“If I hadn’t been a part of that, hadn’t met the owner, I never would have done this,” she said. “This was a dream of mine.”
Of Main Street, Jones, like many, said she wishes there was more downtown focus on the part of the city.
“They seem to have given their attention to other areas in the city,” she said. “But hopefully that will change.”
“This” is a smaller-scale tea and cafe restaurant, which opens early with selections of coffee and tea. While the breakfast crowd is a bit thin (she said breakfast sandwiches will be served soon), it’s the lunch crowd that’s grown since its grand opening on the last day of August – a mere two and a half months after Jones first stepped into the building.
“The lunch crowd is great,” she said. “No complaints there.”
With help from family and friends, Jones is making a modest go of it. For instance, her granddaughter (a trained chef) cooks the food.
“She knows her way around a kitchen,” she said.
What’s unique about the business: It’s not just a simple setting with a bunch of flowers stuffed in vases and women carrying parasols and sticking out their pinkie fingers when they drink.
This place has banquet capabilities (it can seat about 50); it has a fireplace; and catering services are available. The lunch is within a stone’s throw of gourmet, with soups on the menu and desserts brought in special from an Independence bakery.
Coffee is also served, though Jones admits the selection isn’t extensive – just enough to give customers what they want.
Jones also said she plans to have tea parties in the future (but nothing associated with politics).
If you go and special deals: Like many restaurants and cafes, there are daily sandwich and soup specials, but they change from day to day so it’s best you just come inside and see. Jones is planning on heavy soups and casseroles for the upcoming winter season.
Store hours: 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. A website – memoriestearoom.com – is under construction, so check back from time to time.