HAMLIN, Pa. — When Finn Malakin welcomes you into "The Tea Room & Lounge" in Hamlin And brews up tea for you, there are decades of history and memories behind each cup.
"It had this whole lifetime before this space, and it's really amazing for it to come so full circle, and us put life back into a building that's sat empty for so long," said Malakin, the owner of The Tea Room & Lounge.
It's a "full circle" in more ways than one.
Growing up in Hamlin, mornings meant sunrise tea parties with her grandmother.
"Every morning, we'd go out in the garden and have tea parties, and that kind of created my love and passion for cultivating a lovely drink. Our menu has all of these specialty items that were handcrafted and mindfully thought through," added Malakin.
The building itself has family ties.
"My grandfather had a business here, Weller Woodworking, and my grandparents had a whole life here, and then there were a few lives and careers in between that, and somehow the building ended up back in my hands," said Malakin.
Malakin opened up a yoga studio here in 2019. It morphed into a one-stop shop of sorts for all things wellness.
"We have an acupuncturist, a massage therapist, mental health counselor, an infrared sauna."
But still, she felt like something was missing.
"After a yoga class, everybody kind of goes on about their day, and we kind of lack that after connection. We're all feeling connected and energetic, full of love, in the yoga class, and then everyone kind of just leaves," she explained.
Now, they have a reason to stay.
"Everyone always says there's nowhere to go in town. Now we have a space where you can come and read, work, have a cup of tea with a friend after yoga."
Her vision has finally become reality, and Finn can't wait to welcome people from near and far inside.
"It's easy to stray away from neighbors and people you run into at the grocery store. Now we have a space to get tea together and connect and find that deeper level of connection in our small town."
The Tea Room is open daily.
There's an open house this Thursday, Sept. 15, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.