BROOKSVILLE — Aimee Kerr scooted between the kitchen and three dining rooms, filling tea and lunch orders for a handful of guests. A few times she stopped, collected her thoughts, and pivoted. Though she’d been serving tea for seven years, this layout wasn’t quite familiar yet.
The Tilted Teacup Tearoom and Boutique had officially opened in its fresh location just three days prior. And Kerr was training her quick moving feet to commit to a new muscle memory. This was the third time.
“I didn’t realize how much distance it covers just going between the rooms,” she said, lips and cheeks forming into her signature sweet smile.
She was tired but still operating with a grace that hid the hours of work it took to get here. It wasn’t just the physical labor that transformed the house into a magical tea room. That was well documented in the amount of sweat and tears she’d shed. No. It was the continuous streaming of miracles, one after another, that seemed to guide this storybook tale into its third tier.
The Tilted Teacup Tearoom and Boutique originally opened its doors in 2012 in an antique house on Fort Dade Avenue. The business had been a dream of Aimee’s from childhood and shared with her then husband John Gans. It was the first tea-themed cafe in the county.
Through the years the business thrived and expanded into several events in addition to serving high tea to walk-in customers. Theatrical-themed tea-times complete with costumes and performances made The Tilted Teacup a popular entertainment spot. And its Downtown Abbey Christmas was often sold out.
So, when it was time to expand, it only made sense that its second location would be part of the iconic Rogers Christmas House.
Kerr renovated that location to preserve the story book theme in 2014 and remained until the lease was up. But a few significant altering events happened in Aimee’s life, including a divorce that changed the game and the playing field.
She almost surrendered to the pressure, believing that perhaps her dream had met it’s match. Where would the Tearoom go now? And how would she manage to run it alone?
Her faith, what had guided her journey from the beginning, stepped in once again. Aimee met Jon Kerr, someone who believed in her enough to help her preserve the dream into its next chapter.
The house across the street, what had once been the home of the former Blueberry Patch, was available. In fact Aimee had looked at it before, several times. But it never seemed like the right time. Until now.
Much of the charm of the Tearoom has remained through two moves. The newest setting, what Aimee believes will be its final stop, is filled with natural light from huge windows and architecture that seemed molded for such an elegant purpose.
The Tilted Teacup Tearoom and Boutique held its grand opening on Nov. 19. It is up and running with much of the same appeal it’s always had; elegant table settings, delicious teas and light dishes, trinkets and keepsakes and events that draw them in.
The Tilted Teacup Tearoom and Boutique is located at 410 E. Liberty St. Downtown Abbey Christmas began Dec. 7 with a final event tomorrow. Reservations are required.
The Tearoom is open from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, visit their website at www.thetiltedreacuptearoom.com.
For Aimee, the process to get here took time many on the outside didn’t see. It was two years of struggling to hold on to a dream that reality threatened a few times. But she never lost hope. And that faith has paid off.
“This is everything I prayed for.”