When Vickie Hale hosted a tea party for her mother’s birthday, she had no idea that it would become a new business venture.
“I held a tea for my mom at my house and it was such fun that afterward I thought I would like to do this for other people to enjoy,” Hale said.
Vickie and John Hale are members of the Historical Society and realized that the Ross Gowdy House Museum would be a great place to host the tea parties. Vickie Hale got the okay from the Historical Society to begin the venture and the couple held their first tea party on Sept. 10.
"On Sept. 10, my wife and I experienced a wonderful evening provided by a new business in New Richmond," said Ray Perszyk. "The experience and the intimate historic environment were enhanced by the diverse and stimulating conversations. John and Vickie are the ultimate hosts and will exceed your expectations."
"We have a little girl's 10th birthday party scheduled for this weekend," said Vickie Hale. "It is going to be such fun."
Hale has hats and jewelry available for the guests to wear to enhance the event and a special birthday chair is available for the guest of honor.
Vickie Hale says she plans to host four different types of teas.
"We will host a bridal shower tea, a twilight tea, birthday party teas and regular teas by reservation only," said Vickie Hale. "We can seat up to 32 people and John has agreed to sing before and during the teas."
John Hale has earned celebrity status around Clermont County for his singing of the National Anthem and other patriotic songs at community gatherings.
There are plans for John Hale to sing when the guests gather in the parlor and after they begin the tea in the dining room.
"The house is a museum and therefore I can't change things by hanging pictures on the walls, but I do have a display of tea pots which I will put on the mantel and we have lots of hats that can be worn during the teas," said Vickie Hale.
The house is not equipped with a kitchen approved by the health department, but Vickie Hale has received a temporary permit to serve some food.
"We will have mostly sandwiches, homemade pies and lots of sweets," said Vickie Hale. "I will leave it up to the guests, if they want to bring their own cake or I can prepare one for their event."
During the full moon and new moon each month, Tea Time On The Banks Of The Ohio will be open about a half hour before dark to serve a Twilight Tea.
Reservations are required to attend one of the teas in order to prepare the right amount of food. For those planning a birthday or special tea the couple urges organizers to contact them well in advance to ensure availability.
Both John and Vickie Hale are third generation New Richmond natives. The couple has been married two years but have been friends for more than 45 years through their church. They are both retired and looking forward to providing New Richmond with another business.
"As far as I know, New Richmond has never had a tea room," John Hale said. "This is a first."
"We have both been very blessed and we're looking forward to starting this new venture," said Vickie Hale.
The Ross Gowdy House is located 125 George Street, in New Richmond. For more information or to make a reservation, contact John and Vickie Hale at (513) 553-2096 or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.