New Greencastle gift shop features tea room

August 13, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - A ribbon will be cut later this month, officially opening Bétina's Breisé, a gift shop and tea room at 628 E. Baltimore St. on the eastern edge of the borough.

The late 19th century house the gift shop occupies is the first one across the borough line in Antrim Township, owner Betina Beard said.

The shop, which opened last month, originally was in downtown Greencastle on West Baltimore Street.

Beard said she needed more room to expand the business and add tea rooms.

She calls the tea rooms, which are spread over several floors in the four-story house, the Specialtea Cafe.

It's the second such business to open or being planned in southern Franklin County this summer. Sometime in early September, TranquiliTea, a large tea room and gift shop, will open in a refurbished 1880s brick Victorian at 117 W. Main St. in Waynesboro, Pa.


Beard said her tea room specializes in a limited menu of various hot and cold teas, scones, bagels and brownies. They also can arrange for high teas with a full-service menu.

In addition to the rooms in the house, patrons can sit in a variety of places outside around the spacious lawn - in swings under mulberry, oak, pear and sycamore trees, on the patio or under a canvas canopy.

Patrons sometimes bring their own picnic lunches, Beard said.

Members of the Red Hat Society make the back yard a regular meeting place, she said. The society members are women over 50 who wear red hats and purple dresses and meet for monthly lunches.

The lawn also is the site of wedding receptions, Beard said

If things work out, Beard wants to convert an old carriage shed in the back that is currently home to some nesting turkey vultures, into a Christmas shop and another tea room.

Beard, 58, also is a published songwriter.

Six years ago, she wrote a story about her personal marriage experiences for Guidepost magazine. A reader contacted her about writing a song about her experiences and gave her $1,000 to produce an album in Nashville. The album, which was put on tape, is being sold nationally, Beard said.

She also pitched a love song that she wrote for the album to country music stars Vince Gill and Amy Grant.

"I haven't heard back from them yet," she said.

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