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New Business - Spirit of the Lotus Tea Company

October 07, 2007

Name of business: Spirit of the Lotus Tea Company

Owners: John & Siming Macpherson

Address: 223 N. Prospect St., No. 106

Opening date: June 22, 2007

Products and services: More than 250 gourmet loose-leaf teas from China, India, Japan, Taiwan, South Africa and South America. Also carry herbal tisanes and blends and a variety of teawares and accessories.

"We can create gift baskets and packages in a wide variety of styles, filled with all kinds of goodies."

Free in-store tea tastings are available daily and they will arrange tea tastings/parties for groups at their location. They also do "office tea service."


"If you're looking for a particular tea or teaware item and we don't have it, we'll locate it and get it for you.

Market area: Tri-State area for walk-in customers, nationwide for Internet orders.

How did you get into your business, or what motivated you to start it?: "Back in 2000, I met Siming in an Internet chat room. We started chatting occasionally, and eventually, we were chatting daily. In July 2001, I went to China to meet her (and had some really good tea there, too!).

"I proposed, she accepted, I came back and started the paperwork. She arrived just before Christmas 2002. First thing she asked for was a cup of tea. I only had tea-bags. The relationship almost ended right there!

"We decided to look for good, loose-leaf tea in stores in the area. We didn't find any. ... We thought 'If we're looking, maybe some other people are too.' We started buying tea, and selling it from home over the Internet in 2005.

"This year, we got to the point where the Internet business was growing and local people who had purchased items from our Web site were asking if we had a store, so we went looking for a warehouse/retail location, found our current site, did some renovations, and here we are."

Previous business experience: John worked for DSL Sound in Hagerstown for a number of years, and was involved in the original renovations of The Maryland Theatre.

Siming worked in retail in China. This is their first business.

Number of employees: They work alone.

Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Closed Sunday and Monday.

Web site:


Telephone: 301-991-4723

Fax: 443-992-4241

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