Tea for Two offers tasty treats in China Grove

Published 12:01 am Saturday, December 31, 2022

By Susan Shinn Turner

CHINA GROVE — Looking for a peaceful and yummy oasis after a busy holiday season? Look no further than Tea for Two Organic Eatery in Downtown China Grove.

Owner Angie Vaught comes from a family of bakers and foodies. She’s a graduate of South Rowan High School, and her husband, David, is also from Rowan County. They’ve landed back here after her 30-year career in nursing.

Driving through downtown one day, she told her husband, “There’s my bakery.” It was the original location of the Old Town Soap Shop at 113 S. Main St. She told the owners if they ever wanted to lease it, she’d be interested.

Six months later, she got the call, and her business opened on Feb. 14, 2018.

“I had prayed and prayed and prayed about this,” Angie says. “I knew I wanted to stay in a people-focused business. I wanted somewhere that customers could some in and not feel rushed. I wanted to create a sense of family, like they had all the time in the world.”

Angie offers “tea and treats,” as she calls it, as well as private tea parties and high tea once a month. She’s had themed parties for Christmas and Mother’s Day. There have been bridal showers and baby showers and girls nights and book club meetings. Daddies have brought their daughters. Families have come in to teach their children etiquette.

Angie stocks free-trade, single region organic teas, uses honey and sugar in the raw, and offers gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free options.

“There such a market for that,” she notes.

She uses family recipes to create cookies, brownies, bars, pound cakes, cheesecakes and scones — both sweet and savory.

“If it’s a confection, we make it,” she says.

Cakes sold well over the holidays.

Blackberry-Blueberry Cheesecake Bars are a year-round favorite. Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Pretzel Bars have been on the menu since the shop opened and are the No. 1 selling bar.

She uses her grandmother’s recipe for Coconut Cream Pie and her mother’s recipe for Italian Cream Cake, among others. Although she has an online presence with a website, Instagram and Facebook, she says word of mouth is the best advertising. On one recent Facebook post, she asked customers to choose between lasagna or shepherd’s pie for the next day’s menu. Lasagna won.

Her baking days are Monday and Wednesday, and two part-time bakers help.

“I never, ever dread getting up and coming to this job,” she says.

Away from work, she says, she doesn’t sit down. She enjoys hiking, reading, fishing and is active in her church, First Reformed in Landis.

Her daughter, Shea Walker of Savannah, is her business manager. She visits a couple of times a year to talk with people and see what’s popular there. Her son, Tyler Walker, is a fabricator of and painter of custom cars and lives in the Corriher Grange area.

“They’re both really artistic,” Angie says.

As for herself, she says, “I’m just trying to make the world a better place.”

One cup of tea at a time.

Tea for Two is open 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. High tea will be served the second Saturday of each month, with the first set for Jan 14. Reservations are required.

You can call or text Angie at 980-355-4800 or go to her website (teafortwobakes.com), Facebook or Instagram pages.

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