Walking through the door of Infusion Tea, you marvel at the 100+ loose teas on display and the aroma of fresh food lingering in the air. You notice people of all ages enjoying the place, meetings going on, a girl knitting in the corner, friends catching up over lunch, a mother and daughter having afternoon tea. On the far side of the restaurant is an arts co-op, where you can pick up the perfect gift. Here is a little about Infusion Tea, a vegetarian tea house, started by Christina & Brad Cowherd in 2004 after their return from Peace Corps Guatemala. Christina and Brad are Orlando natives and have three children: Emma (8), Annabelle (5) and Joshua (2).
1. Does your business have a stated mission statement, the reason that this business exists?
Infusion Tea exists to provide our community with a healthy, nourishing Third Place. Meet friends, sip tea, feel welcome, stay a while.
2. How has the business evolved over time? We started in a 500 square foot space with only four tables. Now, the cafe is much bigger, our tea offerings are expanded, and we operate a catering business as well. We are really grateful for the support we have received from our community.
3. What should a client expect when he/she comes to you? Healthy, fresh food and tea that is organic and locally sourced whenever possible. We go to great lengths to make sure that our kitchen is free from preservatives, additives, trans fat, MSG, and high fructose corn syrup. Most of our food and all of our soups are made in house, which is really rare these days. Also, clients can expect a tea education. It can be overwhelming to choose a tea when you are at Infusion the first time, and our baristi love helping folks choose the tea that’s right for them. We keep loose tea in sample jars up front so guests can experience each tea’s aroma and texture.
4. What makes you so unique? We are a family-run business, and both Brad and I grew up in this neighborhood. We are honored to be business owners here and to give back to the community that gave us so much. Also, our cafe is home to the Arts Co-op, a local and global market. The merchandise is always changing, and it is a great place to pick up a gift for baby or that person who is hard to buy for. We also carry cards by a local letter press; they are my favorite.
5. What are you most proud of with your business? That a portion of Infusion Tea`s profits go to support Faith Project International, an organization that provides wood-burning stoves, scholarships, and vision improvements in rural Guatemala. We are also constantly proud of and amazed by our manager, Keith, and our staff.
6. What community events do you support or sponsor?
We enjoy being an active part of the College Park Partnership, which supports local business and puts on several great community events a year, such as Holiday on the Drive and Jazz Fest.
8. Any future goals/events that you are excited about? We are very excited about the College Park Makers Market that takes place in our front lot on Sundays from 11-3. There is brunch, mimosas, fresh produce, jewelry, soaps, and more. Great live music, unique vendors, and the perfect weather we’ve been having makes the market a fantastic community event.