American Tea Room is a new venture from founders of Le Palais Gourmet. Many of you are wondering, “Why tinker with an already established business, especially one that has received so many awards, recognition, press and has an already passionate customer base?” The answer is simple – we are always striving to improve ourselves.
When our store first opened, a great brand was created and that translated into lots of sales and satisfied customers. Our mission was then as it is today – to provide the widest and most spectacular range of tea and tea accessories anywhere along with the best service possible. From the first day our doors opened in October 2003, our shop has been a great success. First, it was published as one most beautiful anywhere in “Cool Shops Los Angeles.” This accolade was followed by glowing press in the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, Newsweek, Elle and Bon Apetit… and of course our multiple appearances on the “O List” in Oprah Magazine. We’ve been honored as the Best Tea Store in Los Angeles and One of the 10 Best Tea Shops in the West. Each year our business grew, yet still there was an aspect of our business that was lacking: online sales.
The internet has become a dominating force in retail. Our first online venture was started a little more than two years ago in order to meet the growing demand from our clientele. Since we are in Beverly Hills, we attract many out of town clients. Once they tasted our tea they were hooked, and our website offered an easy way for our customers to find us anytime, anywhere. Unlike many online tea retailers we actually have a retail store, but how to translate our in-store experience to an online format has been a puzzle until recently.
Technology has become more accessible. Social media is now an important ally in our daily approach to marketing. In order to incorporate more social media and newer technology it became apparent we needed a new website – a website that could accurately reflect what we do so well in our store in Beverly Hills and translate that experience online. Since we decided to build a new website, we thought a little research was in order to find out how to best meet our customer’s needs and expectations. What we found was extremely helpful. We learned that more information about the tea (including better descriptions to help customers imagine the taste of our teas, notes on which foods might pair well with them and our suggestions for matching teaware with teas) would greatly enhance our site – all the sort of thing we are so good at doing in person.
Along the way we realized that we still faced a hurdle. With the focus now directly on our customer, one issue was hard to overcome – many people just could not find us. Either they could not remember how to spell our French name (some people used La Palais instead of Le Palais, some just could not remember how to spell Palais…. and then if you called information or went online that problem was magnified). So there was a whole group of potential customers who were searching for us and we wanted to make it as easy as possible for them (and you) to find us. Hence the new name.
But why this name? Well, first we are American, and our experience with tea is very American. Like many of our fellow countrymen, we want the finest and best teas – teas that up until just a few years ago where not available stateside. Our solution – we travel the world to bring the finest teas and tea accessories back to America for your use and enjoyment. To reinforce what we do so well, we needed to make sure the word tea was in our name, so we added “American” to “tea” to create our new name – American Tea Room.
We still do all the things we have excelled at for the past seven years: Amazing customer service providing experience and knowledge when you need it the most, along with the largest and most extensive range of teas, tisanes, teacups, teapots, accessories and candles to heighten your enjoyment.
It’s not easy changing your name. But we are confident that our new website and the improvements we have made to our store will be well worth it. Stop by our stunning flagship store in Beverly Hills or view our “remodeling” online. Take a tea tasting class with one of our renowned tea masters or watch it later on our website. And best of all, you can take advantage of our tremendous sale opportunities in our store or online. That’s what makes American Tea Room your ultimate tea resource.
On behalf of our staff, we’d like to welcome loyal and new guests to the new American Tea Room in person and online.
Founder & CEO