Twigs and Tea: A Lifelong Dream Comes True
Writer / Julie Yates
Just a few feet away from Fishers bustling 116th Street is a charming cottage tucked away at 11643 Maple St. At first glance, it looks like a quaint well-kept home, but the sign in front lets visitors know Twigs and Tea is a combination gift shop and tea room.
Stepping into the tea room at Twigs and Tea is like going on a mini European vacation. In fact, several patrons have told owner Debbie Cook that the atmosphere makes them feel like they are in their home country. “I’ve had customers from France, England and even Russia tell me that the tea room is very similar to ones that are in Europe.”
Longtime Fishers resident Cook dreamed of opening a tea room combined with a decorating accessory store for many years before it became a reality. She was no stranger to running retail businesses since she operated Twigs Too, which was located on 116th Street for 14 years, and Twigs European Home at her present location for the last five years.
Due to the fact that she was so busy with her interior design businesses along with multiple buying trips to Europe, it never seemed to be the right time to open a tea room. However, when all the recent development began happening in downtown Fishers, it seemed to be the right time to put the dream she had been cherishing into action.
The Nickel Plate District Redevelopment and organizations such as Launch Fishers were a signal to Cook that the area was ready for a tea room with a European sensibility. “I think the commercial growth in the area is just beginning, and it will keep continuing,” explained Cook.
Cook’s hunch was correct since the tea room has had a steady stream of visitors since opening. While the gift shop is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., customers can enjoy lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Afternoon Tea from 1 to 3 p.m. No reservations are required for lunch or just a cup of tea and dessert, but if a full afternoon tea is desired, patrons must call ahead. In addition, the tea room can be reserved for special occasions such as wedding or baby showers.
Chef Lynda Hynes prepares a daily quiche as well as soups, sandwiches and salads for lunch. Popular is the trio salad platter and homemade herbed fruit scones. Afternoon tea is a plentiful spread of savory sandwiches, scones and sweets. Currently 11 different varieties of tea are offered, and the servers encourage tasting a sample before ordering either a pot of hot tea or a tall glass of iced. The most popular teas are fruity Paris, cinnamon spice and peach. Cook chooses the tea with great care, making sure the quality is superior but at an affordable price. The tea can be purchased to take home in loose leaf form or as sachet bags in a tin.
Cook is also extremely choosy when she decides on the one-of-a-kind items she sells in the gift shop. ”I buy from hundreds of different companies, but maybe just a few things from each one,” Cook elaborated. “I only buy what I love. When I see something that speaks to me, that’s what I get.” Besides decorator items for the home, the gift shop also carries jewelry and scarves.
Plans for the future include expanding the 26 person capacity tea room to accommodate an additional 35 more seats that will overlook a formal garden area. Cook hopes to complete the project by late fall in time for the holiday season.
Visit Twigs and Tea’s website at twigsandtea.com or call 317-578-2550 for more information.