A Sanctuary In This Hectic World: “A Girlfriend Place”
Four years ago, Kathy Freeman, an antiques enthusiast, visited the Spring Antique Fair on Historic Sutter Street in Folsom. She discovered more than just antiques and collectibles for sale. While shopping the Antique Fair, she took the first step in fulfilling a life long dream of opening a tea room. She “fell in love” with a vacant storefront centrally located on Sutter Street and by Monday was in escrow! Like so many of the buildings in Folsom’s Historic District, 727 Sutter Street has a rich history of past occupancy. “In the 1940’s,” says Kathy, there was a doctor’s office upstairs and a pharmacist and dry cleaners downstairs. It was a bar and Italian restaurant in the 1960’s.”
Recalling what led up to her business venture, Kathy recalls: “I always liked to cook, especially baking desserts, I loved going to afternoon tea. When I worked, I never new if I’d get the afternoon off and tea rooms were ‘reservation only.’ I was determined not to do that! – “walk-in’s’ are welcome’! I always took a hat on trips in case I went to tea. My goal is to have a ‘girlfriend place’.”
Kathy Freeman’s successful tea room, Partea Time, is popular with red hat and bunko groups, for surprise birthday parties, bridal showers, baby showers, annual family teas, reunions and anything “girlfriend wise.” Girl Scout troops hold “manner etiquette” teas. For mother-daughter teas, the daughters pick a cup and saucer, hat and chair for their mom. Even kids are encouraged to come to tea in a specially designed room upstairs where they can be noisy and enjoy themselves. Explaining her philosophy about the importance of tea rooms, Kathy says: “As we grow older and see how fast the days are rushing by, we realize how seldom we take the time for ourselves – to stop, relax and enjoy a moment alone or in personal conversation without having to jump up and rushing on with our lives. Our goal at Partea Time is to provide a sanctuary, a place that provides a soothing atmosphere that, when accompanied by a pot of tea, is especially welcome in this hectic world.”
Four years after Kathy Freeman realized her dream of opening Partea Time on Historic Sutter Street in Folsom, she continues to support the Annual Spring Antique Fair, scheduled for Sunday April 20, by opening at 4:00 a.m. for dealers and serious shoppers who frequently peruse the event by flashlight. Partea Time tearoom is located at 727 Sutter Street in Historic Folsom. For more information on Partea Time, go to parteatimeteahouse. For more information on the April 20 Antique Fair, go to www.tbcashows.info.