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Two former corrections officers opening tea lounge in Mid-town

Stephanie Moss and Barbara Walls are the owners of Enchanted Tea Lounge, and it opens this fall on Cleveland Street.
Credit: Meka Wilson

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A new enchanted experience is headed your way this September. 

Enchanted Tea Lounge, owned by Stephanie Moss and Barbara Walls, is expected to open September 19th at 433 North Cleveland Street, next to the Crosstown Concourse. 

They are going through the final steps currently to get their doors open. They have to meet with their interior decorator for finalizing the furniture and décor, and the city for any possible requirements before opening. 

Walls said, "Enchanted Tea Lounge will be a place where you can have an authentic afternoon tea feeling. What we are gonna have is Fair Trade teas, scones, the creams and the jams, and tea sandwiches."

Butter croissants, crumpets, tea cakes, traditional American sweets as well as British sweets, will also be served in addition to the tea.

When asked about the tea lounge concept, Walls and Moss said the reasoning is the love for tea parties. Moss is a licensed realtor and event planner, and a lover of antique pieces, Walls is a lover of tea, and loves to put tea parties together. 

Credit: Meka Wilson

Walls said she is big on heirlooms and gatherings, so tea parties are a great way for families to get together for special events, or even just because. "You get around your girlfriends, have a cup of tea, conversation, a little gossip, you know."

"Any day is a good day for tea. Not just for special occasions. You just come on in and have a cup of tea and relax," said Walls. "Tune it down some. Everyone wants to turn up. I just wanna relax and have this tea. Just slow it down some. Let's get it back to what it used to be. Everything is so fast these days." Moss called it the "microwave society."

Moss and Walls both came out of the Sheriff's department. Moss served as a Corrections Officer for 14 years, and Walls served as a Corrections Officer for 20 years. When discussing the idea for a business opening, they felt Enchanted Tea Lounge was the best decision. 

Credit: Meka Wilson

"It took us a couple years to get to this point after we left jail, but we're here now and we think this will be a great opportunity to start something new in Memphis, and especially in this area where we chose to have this tea lounge, which is here in the concourse area."

"We felt like this was the best place, and we hope when we open the doors, it will bring in a lot of people who are tea lovers, as well as those who are not. We want them to come in and get the feel."

"We want to specialize with weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, and small gatherings. This will be a great atmosphere for mothers and daughters, fathers and daughters, just to walk in, and there will be an opportunity to make reservations," said Moss. 

Credit: Meka Wilson

You will also be able to place online orders for individual use, events, and parties. There will also be an option to rent the China or the entire space for your gathering from Enchanted Tea Lounge.

There will be a grand opening as well as a ribbon cutting moment for the Tea Lounge. They will do a soft launch first, which will include a gathering of family and friends, who will offer feedback to Moss and Walls.

There will be about 50 tea flavors according to Walls and Moss. There will be 5 types of tea : black tea, white tea, green tea, ruby gold tea, and oolong (traditional Chinese) tea.

"The tea that we are going to provide will be loose leaf tea. This is not an establishment that is going to offer tea bags. It's going to be an experience. You will see it being brewed in your presence," said Moss.  

Walls said her expectations on grand opening day is to see her people. People who are tea lovers to come in and enjoy themselves. Moss said the whole goal is to see tea lovers and non tea lovers. 

"We want to give this experience not to just tea lovers. Tea lovers know this experience. We want this atmosphere to set a pace for those who are not tea lovers to say, oh okay, hey, this looks nice, this is where I wanna come to. And when they come in here, the type of services that we provide, good customer service, the love of tea, so you can get that experience to know what tea can do for you, physically and mentally, is a great thing, and that will make you be a tea lover."

"You're gonna make your reservation, come in and just relax. There will be soft music playing, a nice aroma, and mood setting lighting," said Moss.

Credit: Meka Wilson

Walls said this is not a quick experience. It lasts about two hours because there are 3 courses. You have your savory course, which is the tea sandwiches, your scones course, with the cream and jam, then you have your third course, which is sweet pastries. 

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