The tea room from sisters Maggie Pajak and Jenny Bellizia will open for take-out service Sunday, August 2. Reservations for sidewalk dining are open August 5.
By Matt Skoufalos | August 1, 2020
When sisters Maggie Pajak and Jenny Bellizia were developing the identity for their new business, Jane’s Tea House, they settled on the slogan “reinventing tea time.”
Named for their mother, Jane, the business opens its doors for the first time Sunday at 602 Station Avenue in Haddon Heights, within the former Station House Café storefront.
Launching a restaurant is a complicated endeavor under any circumstances, but overhauling a familiar downtown luncheonette in the middle of a global pandemic comes with its own challenges.
Jane’s Tea House was conceived as an events-based business; that’s Pajak’s background. She plans to welcome baby showers, bridal parties, birthday guests, and themed events like “Tea with Sinatra,” — all of which are on hold amid statewide restrictions on indoor dining.
“Under these conditions, we’ve had to reinvent ourselves,” Pajak said, “so we’re living our own mantra.”
Jane’s Tea House won’t be able to accommodate indoor guests at opening, but its sidewalk tables will host three tea services from Wednesday through Sunday, by reservation only. (First-timers can even preview a list of etiquette tips before visiting.)
In addition to al fresco guests, the kitchen will offer freshly prepared breakfasts and baked goods for take-out.
Chef Kevin Collins and his team prepare 10 different sweet and savory scones, four different mini-muffins, two kinds of quiche, and cinnamon rolls.
There’s also fruit and yogurt with house-made granola, avocado toast, and spinach-and-feta turnovers.
Jane’s Tea House serves more than 50 different Metropolitan Tea Company flavors, from English, Oolong, and Rooibos teas to black, green, and decaffeinated blends.
Guests can also sample a variety of blends at once with a tea flight. For those who want to relax even further, cannabinoid-infused (CBD) HEMPtea blends are available by the tin or the individual cup.
When guests finally can dine inside, they’ll feel the sense of calm that the interior renovations evoke, with soft colors and a style that Pajak describes as “farmhouse posh.”
The walls are a neutral gray, offset by pastel accents from the tablecloths and their floral centerpieces. Natural light fills the Station Avenue-facing display windows, which are offset by long, heavy curtains.
The dining room carpet has been switched out with new laminate flooring, and interior lighting has been replaced with new fixtures, creating “a very clean, open atmosphere,” Pajak said.
“We definitely put in a lot of resources and time and heart and sweat into this place to make it a relaxing and inviting environment for our customers,” she said.
“It’s less about tea and more about coming together with family and friends for an experience.”
The sisters are happy to offer those experiences in the historic downtown Haddon Heights business district.
Pajak, who lives in Glassboro, and Bellizia, a Collingswood resident, say the location is “perfect,” and “an up-and-coming place to be.”
“We really put our heart and soul into this, and we hope the town will really love what we’ve done,” Pajak said.
“We are already living and doing what we set out to do,” she said.
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