Tea Lady just completed the sixth move in the 18-year history of the business, 14 of them spent at several locations downtown, said co-owner Carol Welch.
The business operated out of a location on Capitol Boulevard near Tumwater for the past three years and is now based at 420 Steele St., between Martin Way and Pacific Avenue in Olympia. Tea Lady opened in its new home June 23, she said.
The move across town was driven by the need to better control costs, Welch said. The business has felt the effects of the slower economy, and she’s concerned that the next governor will cut state budgets again.
“They can’t keep doing this to state workers,” said Welch, a state worker herself. “This is a company town.”
The new location is a two-story, single-family residence that is zoned for commercial use. It’s about 2,200 square feet, and the retail business is on the upper floor of the house. The business, for the moment, doesn’t have a tea bar like it did at its previous location, although Welch said they’re working toward having that available for events downstairs.
“We’re taking our time and trying to figure it all out,” she said, adding that the business moved in four days. So far, new and existing customers have praised the new spot for its “homey” feel, she said.
Meanwhile, Ginger Street, the gift, home decor and antique business, will conclude a six-year run in downtown Olympia and move to Rainier, owners Joe and Laura Cattuti said.
The Cattutis, from New York, relocated to Rainier and worked from home. They moved to Fourth Avenue downtown for two years, then moved to 509 Capitol Way for four years. Their new home is the old post office building in Rainier at state Route 507 and Center Street, Laura Cattuti said.
They’re going to move little by little over the following month, then open in Rainier on Aug. 1. The business downtown will remain open through July.
Although both are sad to leave downtown Olympia, the move was prompted by a downturn in business, partly because so many state offices have moved out of downtown.
“We have to look out for ourselves and try something different, and that’s exciting,” Joe Cattuti said.
Ginger Street hasn’t determined its hours in Rainier, but is open from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday at its downtown location. Tea Lady is open from 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays; and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.