After a two year life-threatening battle with a rare form of leukemia blood cancer  (CMML) which required chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant and two years for recovery,  there is a story to be told. Leukemia is a big part of my story but not the whole story.  At the end of my  recovery period my husband asked the question: “What do you really want to do with your life?” Indirectly, I answered, “I want a teahouse.” What I really meant …that is, what I clearly understood was my intention to create a  black-owned (and managed) business so that we could trade with each other while spending our dollars multiple times with our neighbors. We surveyed our potential customers and they responded favorably. So, in the fall of 2012 the business was licensed and registered as TeaLee’s, LLC.

That name was chosen because of my Grandmother’s nickname -“Tee-Lee.” Her real name was Mrs. Evelyn Jones, and going to her home embodied what was simple and good about life  – – – good food, drink, wisdom, comfort, protection, love and conversation.

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With the business named and the business plan completed – the search for prospective locations was on, funding sought, start-up capital acquired and a lease secured in November of 2015, in the Historic Five Points District on the edge of downtown Denver. Signage was posted at the entrance, signaling –  we are here! TeaLee’s, LLC exists!

The teahouse is intended to serve as a conduit to providing employment in an Economic Enterprise Zone. Once open, the community will find excellent service, good food tastefully presented, tea-infused cocktails and sundries. Additionally, Afternoon and High Tea will be served with reservation. Most importantly, as owners, we see TeaLee’s as a daily/regular gathering space.

Now, two years later we are open for business. The landlord had not secured proper permits from the city that would  allow a Certificate of Occupancy to be issued. Without sales or business income for the past 2 years, we’re seeking funding of $60,000 for Debt Reduction, Operating Capital and Inventory.

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Louis & Rise
TeaLee’s, LLC