SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — After more than 13 years in business, the owner of the White Oak Tea Tavern has decided to place the tearoom and gift shop up for sale.
Kim Arney, the owner of White Oak Tea Tavern, says she had some time to reflect as things slowed down due to the COVID-19 business shutdown. While the decision is not related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Arney made the choice to retire.
The decision was bittersweet for Arney. There are many aspects she will miss about the business, ranging from her wonderful employees and all of the friendships she has crafted over the years.
“I’ve received so many comments on Facebook that’s just been so humbling. I just really feel like we’re letting [the customers] down, because we’ve got such a large clientele that are regulars and they’re so loyal to us.”
White Oak Tea Tavern originally started in Botetourt County in 2006. Arney moved the business to Salem’s Preston Place three years ago.
“We have been very loved and we love back,” Arney said. “We’ve just come to know so many people.”
White Oak Tea Tavern has been closed since March, but Arney has been selling and shipping tins of tea. If a new owner isn’t chosen by the beginning of July, she hopes to open the restaurant and shop for a few weeks in July in order to liquidate items and do some to-go orders.
However, Arney wants White Oak Tea Tavern to carry on in the community.
“I would rather it continue on, the legacy of it to continue on; what we’ve created to go forward and to continue to be enjoyed by our customer base instead of it just liquidating and closing down,” she said.
Arney has received several requests and inquires about buying the tearoom business.
“There’s so much potential with this business, and I would just love to see it grow even bigger under someone else’s ownership.”
You can find the latest updates on White Oak Tea Tavern on their Facebook page.
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