A coffee shop and restaurant on Tegarden in Gulfport is under new ownership. The restaurant serves sandwiches and soups, as well as hot and cold coffee drinks.
Darrell McKnight ventured into a business unknown to him. McKnight was looking for something he could work on during his retirement. He fell in love with The TeaGarden Coffee and Tea Company, and he bought it.
McKnight says, "I bought the business on December 31st...Happy New Year!"
The area is very quaint.
McKnight says, "There's gift shops on the street, there's a pottery shop. There's a fine dining restaurant going to open next door, that's really going to be a great addition to the coast. I think we're becoming a little community, a destination community. You're supposed to come in, relax. We have comfortable chairs. People come to read their book, read thier newspaper...have coffee, have tea sometimes have lunch, sometimes not. It just a real good place to come and be."
There is a relaxing feel about the coffee shop and restaurant. The big chairs invite you to read the newspaper or bring your book. And, if you get hungry, a soup and a sandwich may just hit the spot.
McKnight says, "With our sandwiches, you have a choice of pasta salad, potato salad or grapes, if you prefer, we can give you a cup of soup. We have 2 chicken salads that are very popular...one's a walnut chicken salad and the other is a curry chicken salad."
The stuffed sandwiches are very tasty. And children can even enjoy a caffeine free steamer. It's steamed milk with a shot of your favorite flavoring.
McKnight says, "And you put a shot of the flavored syrup, like say the pistachio or whatever...put that in the cup, then you add the steamed milk on top of it...and so it's just the flavor. It's like dessert in a cup...it's delicious. We have 4 coffees, 4 brewed coffees everyday, we have a teagarden blend, the teagarden decaf, and we also have an international blend, like Jamacian Blue Mountain or French Roast Brazilian. And then we have a flavored coffee like coconut or creme de mint."
There's also a computer center where customers can come in to check their emails or surf the net.
McKnight says, "We're wonderful. Everything is good. Everything is fresh. Everything is always made new. There's nothing old here, and if we don't have what you want, we'll get it. So, and it's a great place to be, so come and give us a try."
The Tea Garden is located at the corner of Tegarden and Martin about one block north of the beach. It's open seven days a week: Monday-Friday 7am-5pm, Saturday 8am-5pm, Sunday 9am-5pm. For more information call 228.897.7772.