Downtown Fernie gets a touch of sweetness

New owners take over the Side Street Sweet Shoppe in Fernie under its new name the Sweet Tea Parlour.

In our modern day and age, grabbing a coffee or tea is as simple as pulling in to the nearest drive-thru, speaking into an electronic box, ordering your drink and speeding off.

But when Claire Robinson moved to Fernie to purchase and run the Side Street Sweet Shoppe, she wanted locals and visitors to have a different experience.

Now renamed the Sweet Tea Parlour, Robinson has shifted the focus of the classic candy shop.

Although ice cream, taffy and fudge favourites remain on the menu, catering to local sweet tooths and wide-eyed children, the shop now also provides patrons with an old English-style tearoom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Floral China tea sets are part of the experience at Sweet Tea Parlour. K.Dingman

 

“I’m taking a step back in time and I think sometimes we need that step back,” Robinson said. “Modern society is always on the go and it would be nice to sit back and relax and see people sit back and relax.”

The classic tearoom has replaced the antique portion of the store, managed by the Side Street Sweet Shoppe’s previous owners, and with china floral printed tea cups and saucers arranged on tables, the new set up brings Robinson back to her days spent in United Kingdom (U.K.) tea shops.

The U.K. business owner moved to Canada five years ago, originally settling in Nova Scotia, before a brief stint in Ontario. Robinson settled in to Fernie nearly two months ago.

She said she welcomed the opportunity to purchase her own already-established business in a small town.

“I’ve always worked for someone else and I’ve always had a yearning to do something for me,” the Sweet Tea Parlour owner said. “I thought, I’ll take a chance. I’m not as young as I used to be, so this is my last go now.”

She went on to say, “I never thought at my age that I would move halfway across the world and start a business. There’s life in this old girl yet.”

After taking over the store, Robinson has already made some significant changes, including the opening of the tea section, in addition to selling Bee by the Sea skin care products, milkshakes, floats and sundaes.

With above-average summer heat engulfing Fernie this July, Robinson said the expansion of the ice cream parlour has been welcomed.

“We’re trying to keep a good selection of ice cream as well,” she added, noting that she hopes to offer build-your-own ice cream and sundae in the near future.

Robinson’s dreams of expanding the Sweet Tea Parlour’s products and services extend to the tearoom as well, where she said she plans to host children’s tea parties in addition to baby and wedding showers.

“We’re not going to have a really big menu,” she said of the tearoom, adding, “It will just be a variety of teas.”

Robinson’s partner Tom Lomonte is also managing the store, with the two of them preparing the store and adding final touches to establish the Sweet Tea Parlour as a unique shop separate from the previous Side Street Sweet Shoppe.

Robinson said that so far, the customer feedback has been great.

“People are lovely here, they’re really friendly,” she said, adding, “How can you not love living in Fernie? It’s beautiful.”

Currently the Sweet Tea Parlour is open on Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

For more information on the Sweet Tea Parlour’s products and services, look for Side Street Sweet Shoppe on Facebook.

 

 

Just Posted

Fernie man builds 10-foot sign thanking fire responders

Ken Rawson built his “thank u” sign on Saturday as helicopters responded to fires in the Elk Valley

SAR volunteers thanked after series of emergencies

Incidents ranged from the search for a missing hiker to delivering evacuation alerts in nearby towns

Update: guard built at Coal Creek Road fire near Fernie

Seventeen firefighters and one helicopter working to contain Coal Creek FSR fire, east of Fernie

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

McDermid Creek fire registered at 70ha

A wildfire burning approximately 6 kilometres west of the Morrissey area is… Continue reading

B.C. team stays alive in Little League World Series after another nail-biter

Surrey-based squad scored a 6-4 win over Mexico reps in Williamsport on Monday

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

B.C. mother charged in 7-year-old daughter’s death appears in court

The 36-year-old mother, of Langley’s Aaliyah Rosa, has been charged with second-degree murder

VIDEO: Teen soccer phenomenon Alphonso Davies to visit B.C. kids camp

The 17-year-old Vancouver Whitecap player is one of the youngest players in MLS history

New plan to lift more than two million people past the poverty line

Anti-poverty strategy will aim for 50 per cent cut in low-income rates: source

Liberals scrap lottery system for reuniting immigrants with their parents

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

Bear kills off-leash dog in B.C. park

There have been nearly 200 pet or livestock and bear encounters so far this year

Trudeau says he won’t apologize to heckler, pledges to call out ‘hate speech’

Prime Minister had accused woman of racism as she shouted about illegal immigration at Quebec rally

Most Read