Ivania Gozzola and her daughters and daughter-in-law Tina Benedet, Tami Comuzzi and Ida Gozzola started coming to The Secret Garden over 13 years ago. Ida first found the place and went in for lunch. She told the women in her family about it and Ivania suggested they all go back for high tea and since that first year they have come back every August.
“This became our regular once a year birthday party to celebrate us as moms,” said Tina. “Throughout the years we’ve never ever missed a year.” There was something about stopping to reconnect for an afternoon as mothers without someone yelling ‘Mom’ every couple of minutes that became special for them. “We could talk!”
When their babies were really little they would bring them in a car seat or stroller, but now, “We don’t ever bring our girls or our boys; this is just our quiet time for ourselves,” said Tina. At the end of each tea they will each pick out a “loot bag” of tea to bring home with them. Creamy Earl Grey is a family favourite. As far as the treats? “We covet the lemon tarts and anything chocolate,” said Tina.
Pressed for a favourite tea memory in all those 13 years, Tina said, “Probably the very first one was when we first discovered [the Secret Garden]. It was so little and so quaint that we weren’t expecting anything.” After each August tea the women will pop into the local shops in Kerrisdale. “We’ve made that a beautiful tradition for the four of us and we hope our daughters do it when they grow up. They’re very close.”
The Secret Garden was voted Best Teahouse in the Georgia Straight Best of Vancouver 2019 Awards! This marks the fifth year in a row that we’ve been awarded this honour. A sincere thank you to everyone who voted for us!
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Each month we raise money for a local charity through our special events and Cookies for a Cause. This month we’re raising funds for the Union Gospel Mission in Vancouver. Stop by our shop to pick up some adorable turkey cookies, and help feed the homeless in Vancouver this Thanksgiving!
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With Thanksgiving just around the corner, now is a great time to steep a pot of tea and take a few minutes to reflect on the many blessings in our lives. Join us in cultivating an attitude of gratitude this month!
What are you grateful for this year? Let us know on Facebook and Instagram!
Ada Slivinski manages PR, social media and special events for the Garden! She was a regular customer before joining us in 2016. Her talented team at Jam PR includes photographer Juli Talerico, who takes all of our gorgeous High Tea photos, and Alex Estanislao, who manages social media. We couldn’t do all of this without them!
Tiffany Picard has been managing the Secret Garden website and newsletter since 2014. Over the years our newsletter community has grown to nearly 12,000 readers. We love being able to keep in touch and share a little of the Secret Garden spirit with each of you!
This week Kathy and Erin were guests on Five Blossom Radio. They discussed the beauty and tradition of the High Tea experience, and also shared some of their experiences as female entrepreneurs. Click here to listen to the podcast interview.
Each month we hold special events to raise money for a different charity. This month, we’re raising funds for the Looking Glass Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to providing care and education for young people with eating disorders.
Stay tuned for more information on our upcoming events, and stop by our shop to purchase one of these beautiful Looking Glass cookies, crafted by our pastry chef Lysanne. Proceeds from each cookie will benefit the Looking Glass Foundation!
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Recently Janet Meares celebrated her 75th birthday in her happy place, The Secret Garden! Janet was one of the Garden’s very first customers over 20 years ago, and her grandson used to play baseball with Kathy’s son. Thank you Janet for all the happy memories at the Garden!
Do you have a favourite Secret Garden tea? Many customers have that one tea they keep coming back to, such as our fragrant Avalon Blend Black Tea, blended with vanilla, rose and bergamot.
Our Bulk 500g Teas are the best way to enjoy your favourite teas at great value. You’ll receive 10% off the regular price of the smaller bags.
To order Bulk Teas, simply select the Size dropdown option when purchasing teas online. You can even select the In-Store Pickup option if you prefer not to pay for shipping.
Premium teas at a great value? We’ll raise our teacups to that!
Visit our Online Store to buy Bulk Teas