Shop & Dine at Cottage Treasures Tea Room & Gift Shop

September 29, 2017 in Editorials

Nestled in a quaint yellow frame house located at 170 Cleveland St., right off Nashville Street/Hwy. 41 in Historic Ringgold, Ga., you’ll find Cottage Treasures Tea Room & Gift Shop. This year marks 17 years since Peggy Williams and her late husband Ron Williams saw a dream come to pass with the opening of their gift shop, not knowing then, they’d be adding a tea room in a few years.

Being very artistic and creative, Peggy put her energies into decorative painting after retiring from the medical field. She experimented and studied, learning everything she could about it. She attended classes by Priscilla Houser, known as the “Mother of all Decorative Painting,” and received certification by Priscilla Houser Studios to teach, and often assisted instructing classes by Priscilla Houser.

In 2000, she and Ron looked for buildings in the Ringgold area where they lived, and was able to lease the building that still houses the business today. Even though it was a residential home and formally a parsonage for the First Baptist Church, they were able to lease four rooms and refurbish them, and then pursued the necessary approvals and inspections to open the gift shop. Peggy’s husband had been a textile chemical engineer, and with his vision for colors and knowledge of future designs and colors, added to Peggy’s vision of design for the decorative interior of the shop, it was a win, win. Ron handled most of the painting, building, planting landscaping, and Peggy traveled to market buying, planning, stocking and decorating.

The gift shop continuously restocks with seasonal and holiday décor from Easter to Christmas with lovely accessories for the home, and always signage, mugs, coasters and items with Bible verses and words of encouragement. There’s often framed art and creative wood turned décor by a local artist, and beautiful florals and wreaths in all colors and for all occasions.

The gift shop was a huge success, and after Peggy continued having a Bible verse laid on her heart, “Commit thy works unto the Lord” (Proverbs 16:3), she realized she had to put another vision into action. Peggy wanted to help her community and encourage friendships and give support to others and she loved to cook! This too was a gift she needed to use to complement the gift shop, so she decided to open a tea room. It was perfect timing, for shortly thereafter, the business that was in the other part of the house moved, leaving the rest of the rooms available for lease. In January 2006, Ron and Peggy begin to redo plumbing, painting and rearranging rooms to fit lovely and quaint tea room settings, later making room for a ladies boutique with beautiful trendy apparel and accessories.

Peggy had met Betty Ziegler during a painting class, and they had become very close friends and have remained so for more than 20 years. With Betty helping her in the gift shop and traveling to market and assisting her where ever needed, Peggy pushed forward with extra retail lines relating to the tea room and began to prepare and test wonderful menus. She added several others to the staff before and after she opened Cottage Tea Room & Gifts in June 2006. She now has Betty as manager, Diana Yarber, assistant manager, Gail Norwood-Chef & kitchen manager, and her assistant Alice Marcum. Karen Smith is the server or dining manager, and this great group of ladies work together like a hand in a glove, and that is why the tea room & gift shop are both a success and a blessing.

2011 brought severe tornados to the area, ripping apart the tea room area. This didn’t discourage Peggy. She redrew plans to make the tea rooms, kitchen and prep area more accessible to work in, and repairs and reconstruction got under way quickly, reopening for full business in four months.

The tea room offers a daily selection of soup, quiche, salad and entrees to satisfy every taste. They offer a Cottage Sampler consisting of a small slice of Quiche Lorraine, Gourmet Chicken Salad on a small croissant, a small house salad, homemade scones, seasonal fruit and a mini frozen strawberry salad. Scones and flavored butter are included on every menu. The “Tea Tray for Two” is served with their gourmet chicken salad on a small croissant, selection of tea sandwiches, seasonal fruit, a mini slice of quiche, scones, a mini frozen strawberry salad, mini desserts and your choice of beverage. They serve 9 flavors of hot tea, with the most popular being Paris and Hot Cinnamon Spice. Check out their website for other menus and the list of sweet sensations.

The tea room & gift shop are open Tuesday thru Saturday, serving at 11 and 2. They take reservations daily for parities, showers, birthdays and many other occasions. They have planned teas such as the Christmas Open House on Thursday, Nov. 2, serving time 5:30 & 7; Friday, Nov. 3, serving lunch at 11 & 2; and Saturday, Nov. 4 with lunch served at 11 & 2. There will be a Christmas Tea Friday, Dec. 8 with dinner served at 5:30 & 7. Reservations must be made for these special tea times. They can seat 44 people comfortably, and most always accept walk-in groups of twos. The Gift Shop is open Tues-Sat 10 to 5; they are closed Sunday & Monday.

This past February 2017, Peggy lost her love, co-founder and friend Ronald Williams to Alzheimer’s. Today, Peggy works even more diligently in the gift shop and tea room, and has become very proactive in supporting and working with other families having gone or going through a loved ones battle with Alzheimer’s.

Peggy, Betty and the staff invite you to visit Cottage Treasures Tea Room and Gift Shop soon. Enjoy the dream Peggy and Ron built and feel the welcome coziness as you have tea. It’s a perfect place to take some leisure time to shop; I know you’ll love the treasures awaiting you there.

By Maxine Jones, Ocoee, Tennessee