MATBA member Denise Worrell of "Naturally Bahamian" worked very hard with the Department of Tourism of the Bahamas and individual local businesses to arrange a very special package deal for a Winter Tea Escape in Nassau, Bahamas. It was a wonderful opportunity to escape the chill of winter (average temp. is 78 degrees), to show support for fellow members in the industry and to learn the history of tea and experience the culture of our island friends. We took a break from the gray winter skies and experienced a wondrous journey and enjoyed the warm and balmy breezes of the Bahamas. Nassau, on Paradise Island to be exact. The island, a mere 21 miles long by 7 miles wide, is a winter paradise and offers a welcoming respite to those escaping the winter chill.
The MATBA Board of Directors is excited to announce that fellow MATBA member Denise Worrell of "Naturally Bahamian" has been working very hard with the Department of Tourism of the Bahamas and individual local businesses to offer a very special package deal for a Winter Tea Escape in Nassau, Bahamas. It is a wonderful opportunity to escape the chill of winter (average temp. is 78 degrees), to show support for fellow members in the industry and to learn the history of tea and experience the culture of our island friends. Mark your calendar now!
Arrive: Nassau Bahamas - Monday January 30, 2017
Depart: Nassau Bahamas - Thursday February 2, 2017
Reservations for air travel, transfers to the hotel, and lodging (see below) should be arranged by the individual travelers.
Round trip airfare from Philadelphia is approx. $450. Airport transfers to the Sandyport Resort will vary, but prices range from $18 - $25 one way.
Lodging will be at the Sandyport Beach Resort (plan to arrive at the hotel before 2 pm). This is a Gold Crown Resort with an overall TripAdvisor ranking of #2 out of 37 hotels in
During our stay, three afternoon teas are planned. One will be at the hotel, another at the Government House and one of them at a Bahamian residence. We will also tour Ranepa Farms, and other local tea businesses (Tasty Teas and Passion Teas).
Meals will include a dinner with a Bahamian Family and (subject to confirmation) a brunch or dinner at the University. Denise Worrell of Naturally Bahamian will present a lecture on herbal tea production and usage in the Bahamas, as well as be our tour guide. The cost of these offerings is expected to be in the neighborhood of $250 - $300 including group transportation. Once we have final confirmation of scheduling and the itinerary, we can offer an exact cost. As details are available we will continue to provide updates.
Optional free tours may include the John Watlings rum distillery, Rum Cake Factory, National Art Gallery. Most are within walking distance of the Government House.
Other tours that come with a fee include a Junkanoo tour that teaches the history of junkanoo, demonstrates how to make costumes and teaches the dancing. There is the Clifton Heritage Natural Park which offers tours of the plantations, slave quarters, hiking, and snorkeling of the preserved coral and underwater sculpture gardens. The cultural park has just reopened only partially and therefore has not been available to discuss group discounts, etc.
At our October meeting 13 people expressed interest. The final number will help to determine the discounts that we can receive at the hotel and on the above tours and group transportation options.
Note: 1 US dollar is equal to 1 Bahamian dollar. Both U.S. and Bahamian dollars are accepted interchangeably throughout the islands.
Please understand that Hurricane Matthew has delayed getting the final itinerary and costs on the overall trip. As we are able to finalize the itinerary and update pricing we will release this information. Some of the tour originally discussed is not possible because of the extent of devastation and destruction that the storm caused.
Members are responsible for all expenses involved with this trip, including airfare, lodging, transportation to and from the airport, most meals, and additional excursions. Space is limited, so we request that you confirm your participation with a $100 deposit (to be put towards the scheduled activities listed above) as early as possible, and no later than December 1st. The balance of the tour and on island transportation will be due to MATBA by January 10th. Please email Kathleen Hippeli and she will invoice members for the $100 deposit to their email address. Payment may be paid with a debit card, credit card on-line directly or mail a check to MATBA Treasurer c/o One Steep at a Thyme, PO Box 251, Spotswood, NJ 08884.
Please express your interest and direct all questions regarding this trip to Debbie & Mike Raab.
FYI: You will need a valid US Passport. All American citizens who travel to and from Caribbean nations like the Bahamas and Jamaica are required to present an approved international photo ID when crossing borders. For air travel, this means strictly an American passport.
Please Note: Our traditional winter educational conference call presentation will occur in February, after returning from our trip.
Seminar Schedule of Events:
10:00 Members & Guests arrive
Morning Buffet Reception11:00 Darlene’s Meyers-Perry Presentation
“Tea Vessels = A Way to Steep up Sales”12:00 Networking Luncheon
BBQ Tearoom Style Menu1:30 Business Meeting
Welcome Buffet Menu:
Good news to share...........
Most of you know how much I love to blog about "all things tea" on my blog The Tea Enthusiast's Scrapbook http://www.theteaenthusiastsscrapbook.com/ I'm a member of the fairly new blogger's community "The Tea Bloggers Round Table" which was crafted by MATBA member, Jo Ani Johnson/Gift of Tea. The group has just learned we've been nominated for a World Tea Expo award in the category "Best Tea Community/Social Initiative". Please read more about it here
If you're attending World Tea Expo 2016 in Las Vegas June 15th -17th, please consider voting for "The Tea Bloggers Round Table". There is a voting link located at the bottom page of the presentation link above.
In addition, if you're interested in joining TBR or have any questions about the group, please email email@example.com.
Please check out my conversation about Tea Ware on page 19 in the World Tea Expo White Paper. I truly feel honored to be a part of this new World Tea Expo publication.
In this end, the Association offers an Annual Seminar typically held in April, and three additional meetings held in January, July, and October. At the Annual Seminar this year, Goodie Bags were provided to the members in attendance. They were full of samples and brochures. Special thanks to all the members that contributed to this bag of delights!
Gypsy's Tea Room, where the seminar was held this year, shared a sample of Gypsy's Blend. Their house blend is a decaffeinated black tea with sweet raspberry and rich vanilla undertones.
East Indies Coffee and Tea shared a sample package of 5 pyramid tea sachets with such flavors as Chai Americaine, Earl Grey a la creme, Assam, Lemon Souffle Rooibos, and Pomegranate.
MATBA Annual Meeting and Seminar Monday, April 25, 2016 was held at Gypsy's Tea Room, Westminster, MD
Meeting Highlights included:
A special educational program was presented by the renown Dr. Virginia Utermohlen Lovelace, MD a specialist in the science of taste and concentrated on the pairing of tea with foods. She worked with our hosts, Lora and Jo from Gypsy's Tea Room, to incorporate specific pairings with the food offerings at this day-long event!
The meeting included refreshments, an afternoon tea luncheon, and abusiness meeting for members. The MATBA Board of Officers biennial elections also took place.
The Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association (MATBA) is celebrating ten years. Members will gather for a celebratory luncheon cruise at the Inner Harbor in downtown Baltimore, Maryland, on Monday, June 22, 2015.
MATBA was founded in 2005 by Janet Young of Over the Teacup, Nancy Reppert of Sweet Remembrances Tea Room, and Susanna Reppert Brill of The Rosemary House. The mission of the Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association (MATBA) is to advance the knowledge of tea through networking and educational opportunities for the entrepreneur within the tea business. Membership meets quarterly with the annual meeting and seminars taking place each April.
Janet Young, who owned and operated Over The Teacup Inc., a teahouse in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania for 12 years, recounts the association’s history and said, “For me personally, it all began in May of 1998 when I attended The Harney Tea Conference in Rye Town, NY. Exactly one year later, I opened my teahouse. This was a time when computers were just making a real impact in the business world, while at the same time the world of tea was beginning to emerge. After attending The Harney Tea Conference and the Take Me 2 Tea (now World Tea Expo) conferences, it was then that I soon recognized the need for an organization that would come together to support other people engaged in the business of tea. Tea was trending. Teahouses were proliferating, but with little support to guide these individuals on their journey, I felt there was a need for this kind of support. I happened to mention this to Susanna when I was in her shop one day, and she agreed and said that she and her sister, Nancy were both thinking the same thing. So in 2005, the three of us sat down and started laying out the groundwork for what was to be called the Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association, or better known as MATBA today. Our objective was to provide a networking opportunity for each member to share their successes as well as their concerns, while providing each member with educational instruction from leaders in the field such as, Bruce Richardson, Elizabeth Knight, Bill Waddington, and Pearl Dexter to name a few. Over the years MATBA has grown and due to the strong leadership it has maintained, MATBA is growing and serving the tea professionals a much appreciated service.”
Nancy Reppert and Susanna Reppert Brill own and operate two unique businesses located in downtown Mechanicsburg, PA. Nancy owns Sweet Remembrances Tea Room (est. 1990), a private party place and tea room, while her sister Susanna is the owner of The Rosemary House (est. 1968), a herb and spice specialty shop originally opened by their mother, Bertha Reppert. Special events featuring herbs and tea in workshops, classes, programs, and themed teas are scheduled throughout the year. “Over the years, MATBA has provided a wonderful outlet for business owners to meet well known tea professionals, network with other tea business owners, and share ideas and concerns and reinforce their tea education on a variety of topics, said the Reppert sisters.”
MATBA is managed by a board of volunteers voted in by membership every two years. The current executive board members for the 2014-2016 term include president, Michael Raab, Tea-For-All, NJ – vice president and membership director, Darlene Meyers-Perry, The Tea Lover’s Archives, NJ – secretary Marcella Farina, The Tea and Hat Lady, PA – treasurer, Kathleen Rogers, Set to a Tea, PA – and chief information officer and press liaison, Gail Gastelu, The Tea House Times, NJ. Kirsten Kristensen, Tea 4 U, LLC, at The White House in Oakhurst, NJ, held the position of president prior to Mr. Raab and remains involved.
Michael Raab, stated, “MATBA members represent a cross section of the tea industry from retailers, to educators to tea houses. Collectively this diversity helps all members to raise their business and professional knowledge in the tea industry. Simply put, members and our speakers and guests educate so that we keep abreast of industry trends, identify and qualify suppliers and continue to improve our individual businesses. I am proud to be a part of MATBA.”
Previous president, Kirsten Kristensen, commented, “I have been an active member of MATBA since 2006 and especially enjoy networking with fellow tea professionals. Our meetings are always a valuable combination of networking and learning in the tea area and I don’t think I would have dared opening a tea house of my own without the experience, pros and cons, ups and downs, I have learned from being a MATBA member. The cost of being a member is a fraction of what other tea associations cost and being able to drive to a meeting without an overnight stay or airline travel is a great benefit.”
Full Membership privileges are awarded to members inside the Mid-Atlantic region states including Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association invites all Tea Businesses within the Mid-Atlantic Region to register at the website to become In-Region business members with voting privileges among other benefits. Tea Businesses outside the Mid-Atlantic Region are invited to join as Out-of-Region members with slightly reduced member privileges.