Wednesday, April 30, 2008
The former tea room was located in French Market Mall at NW 63rd St. and N. May Ave. which she began in 1969 with a partnership between Alberta and Lamoyne Kerr, ex-wife of Robert S. Kerr Jr. Before the tea room, Alberta Brannon already was an established cateress, having gotten into the business in the 1950s. She was was born August 2, 1920 in Clinton. She married James Brannon and the two opened a bakery in the late 1940s in Oklahoma City.
She worked with Lura McMurray, a prominent caterer in town and when Lura wanted to retire, Alberta went on with the catering. She had quite a reputation in Oklahoma City as a cateress, before she got into the tea room proper.
Yes, quite a reputation - on a weekend in the early 1960s when President John F. Kennedy visited the country estate of former U.S. Sen. Robert S. Kerr, D-Okla. in Poteau, Alberta and her son, Roy, were selected to cater the whole thing.
If "tea room" brings to mind a small cafe, well, "this ain't no sippin' tea room" to paraphrase a familiar advertisement. The restaurant occupied 9,000 square feet, and was popular with civic and social clubs and other groups. Its main dining room seated 120 people. There also was a formal dining room which could accommodate 150 people and was used for such events as club meetings and rehearsal dinners. A third dining room west of the main tea room provided a more private, intimate setting and could hold about 100 people.
In addition to the group luncheons, Alberta's was open to the public Monday through Saturday 11am to 4pm. It was open on two Sundays a year - Mother's Day and Easter.
The tearoom had its share of male patrons, but ladies were particularly fond of it. Diners might remember Alberta Brannon's homemade rolls, but also her chicken tetrazzini or hot apple pie with rum sauce.
Alberta was there almost every day her son said. "This was her life...she's was a very devout Christian woman who believed in just doing the right thing and loving people."
Her son and chef, Brannon knew where his bread was buttered and made no bones about it, "I don't care how talented you are...if the people don't support you , you're not going anywhere," he said.
I can think of no better tribute than 30 years as a successful tearoom owner, to raise 7 children and have your son say those kind words about you. When you look back on your life it won't be the big splashy events but the small behind the scenes things...the gestures of kindness that no one knew about that will matter the most.
Alberta Brannon is one of my heroes. I still remember going to the tearoom with my mom, the white starched tablecloths and the smell of her homemade rolls. I hope one day people will say the same about our vanilla muffins and maybe my three boys will want to work in the business alongside Eric and myself just like at Alberta's Tea Room. One son, Larry, oversaw the catering and planning of the parties. One son did most of the cooking and the food ordering. Another son, Roy, managed the dining room.
Alberta Brannon is survived by her sons James Brannon Jr., Roy Brannon, Marvin Brannon, Harold Brannon and Larry Brannon; daughters Darlene Reed and Shirley Reed.
1 Thessalonians 5:24 "Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass."
Saturday, April 26, 2008
"Out To Canaan" our next book club selection by author Jan Karon
"Talking Over Teacups" book club ladies enjoying lunch and discussing books.
Owner Tammy Seibert leading discussion/Book Club Members
We had our quarterly spring book club meeting today and discussed the book "These High Green Hills" the third book in the Mitford series by Jan Karon. The ladies ordered from the lunch menu and could choose from three of our hot teas (Darjeeling, Hot Mama and Berry Berry) or iced regular or raspberry tea.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
A Spot For Tea offers a complimentary tasting the last Thursday of the month (January-October only) for any person that has booked a special event with us or a wedding at Coles Garden and Walnut Creek Wedding Chapel . The tearoom does creative catering exclusively for these two wonderful chapels and gardens and we are so honored to be partnering with them. The tasting begins at 6pm at the tearoom and each group is allowed up to 4 people. Last night we had 16 groups that attended the tasting.
We want the time with us to be as productive as possible so it is important that you decide on which menu you would like to sample. A Spot For Tea offers 3 different catering menus: hors d'oeuvres, traditional dinner and Italian pasta station. During the tasting you are able to sample up to 2 of our menus. When you call the tearoom to make your reservation all you have to do is let us know which two you would like to try. There is a lot of activity going on at A Spot For Tea and this is just one of the many services that we offer to make your event one that you will always remember.
Ephesians 6:7 "Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord."
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
State Representative Mike Thompson & Mayor Tardibono
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Many of you have asked about the Gingerbread Tea and the donations that we gave to The Children's Center. I wanted to report that in addition to the monetary donation, we were also able to collect over $500.00 in personal hygeine items that we delivered to the center in January.
Ashlie, Della, my sons Blake and Benjamin, and myself took a personal tour of the facility. The Children's Center provides medical care and therapy for inpatient and outpatient children. It was a very moving experience especially for my own kids. Benjamin recognized a classmate from his school that has been written about in the newspaper and heralded as a miracle kid. We got to visit him and it really touched all of us to hear his story.
Thank you everyone for helping put a smile on the face of a child.
Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
The couple above are two of our good customers Rick and Dee Dee who occasionally come for afternoon tea upstairs. It is their time together for refinement and connection.
Decompress: to release from pressure
I was listening to someone say there are three ways to do this:
a) change of pace - doing something out of your ordinary routine
b) family/friend time - we use to say it was a shame not to know our neighbors now it can be said individuals do not connect with the people in their own house because of hectic schedules. Ask yourself the question who am I there for and who is there for me? Am I giving those people priority in my life?
c) down time - where you allow yourself to be free from performance or the burden of responsibility. Its called a FREE Day. A true free day is completely free of business meetings, business related phone calls, cell phone calls, emails or reading work related documents. You're not available to your staff, clients or students.
What I enjoy about Rick and DeeDee when they come for tea is that they enjoy spending time being in the moment and have introduced several friends to a more genteel way of living. When they travel they like to find new places to explore and have tea.
So try a change of pace today...find a new way to spend time with the people that you love...give yourself permission to have a little down time.
"There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread." - Mother Teresa
Matt 4:4 "But He answered and said, 'It is written, Man shall not live on bread alone..."
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Festivities, balloons, flowers, cards and a whole lot of fun is how I will remember this past week at A Spot For Tea.