POQUOSON — Two friends decided to go to a tea room one day. Four weeks later, they opened their own.
Courtney Kint and Abbigale Bernosky are the owners of Partea Momma’s, a tea room based out of Poquoson which hosts tea party events and sessions.
A friendship that started online through a Facebook group connecting military spouses quickly became friends who did everything together — including starting their own business.
Bernosky said that when the coronavirus pandemic hit, their families grew closer, essentially spending lockdown together.
After Bernosky suggested a tea house outing for their kids one day, the two friends were reminded of the special feelings a tea party can bring.
“I grew up doing tea parties with my grandma all the time,” Kint said. “That was our family get-together, a way we could dress up and pretend we were fancy.”
Bernosky said that her love for tea started while living in South Carolina, when the British Navy was there for training. Instead of going for coffee, all the wives went for tea.
“So Courtney and I went for tea, and I was like, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to open a tea house?’” Bernosky recalled.
What started as a half-joke became a small business four weeks later.
By February 13, 2021, Partea Momma’s was up and running.
Currently based in the hall of St. Timothy’s Anglican Church in Poquoson, 962 Poquoson Ave, Partea Momma’s holds sessions where guests can have tea and scones while forgetting about life for a while.
“Tea parties are magical,” Kint said. “I feel like they’re worry free. When you’re at tea, you’re not stressed out about whatever’s going on in your life.”
Guests can purchase tickets through Partea Momma’s Facebook page ahead of time for seating.
Partea Momma’s is both a passion project and a family affair. With the church down the road from where Bernosky and Kint both live, the two run the tea room with the help of their husbands and kids.
One of the biggest challenges in running a small business is time management, Bernosky said.
With full-time jobs and families, the two had to figure out a way to make it work.
“You don’t know everything about somebody until you work with them,” Kint said. “I’m very relaxed. Abby is not. We definitely had to learn our yin and yang.”
Partea Momma’s also holds holiday-themed events, including a Mother’s Day tea over this past weekend.
For Bernosky and Kint, one of the biggest surprises since opening has been the support of the community.
“We really thought we would have a different demographic than we did,” Kint said. “We thought we’d see primarily military spouses since we posted about it on a military spouses Facebook page.”
However, the Poquoson and Yorktown communities have showed up, selling out their first event.
“Most people throughout the tea business say they did tea when they were younger with their grandparents,” Kint said. “It’s so special and nostalgic for us. You can remember some better memories from the past or make new memories for the future.”
Kint said that they see all ages and demographics come in.
“My favorite part is when the kids come,” she said. “Seeing their faces light up because they feel like princesses and princes. Everyone comes. We have dads, kids, boys, girls, grandmas.”
Their advice for future small business owners?
“Do it,” Bernosky said. “If it’s something you think about for longer than five seconds and it’s not a joke, then just do it.”
“Don’t underestimate the support that you’re going to receive,” she added.
The friends and co-owners hope to be able to cater more events in the future, like birthday parties and baby showers.
But for now, they are enjoying seeing people come in from all generations in order to forget about the real world for 45 minutes.
“It’s so cool to see it become a family atmosphere because that was what it was built on,” Kint said. “We were built from our families being together.”
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