A tea shop and cafe that opened more than a year ago in York city center has closed due to soaring costs and a ‘hen party culture’ in full growth.
The Tea Palace, a London-based tea company with a Barnsley manufacturing base that sells to Harrods and the Kensington Palace Orangery, opened last spring in Low Petergate.
They took over the former Mr P’s Curious Tavern and then sales manager Daniel Ibbotson said at the time that they had a takeaway tea menu of 180 different blends – the largest in Yorkshire and maybe from the country.
A few days ago the store closed and Mr Ibbotson confirmed that it was now permanently closed.
He said: “It was not an easy decision, but the running costs have become too expensive for us to stay open. It’s the costs that have cost us and it’s such a shame.
“The location was fantastic, but the electric and gas bill is almost £3,000 a month now and to break even we need to earn around £25,000 a month.
“The summer months were brilliant for us, but we didn’t even do enough in a busy summer to have a buffer for the quieter period.
We would like to thank all of our customers for their support over the past two years, but we simply cannot afford to operate from this site any longer.
“It’s a shame because we have invested large sums of money and time in the business.
“A special mention must be given to the management team and staff at York, they have all gone above and beyond to keep the place running.
“Running costs continue to skyrocket; between rent, rates, wages and utilities. Over the next 6 months we can only see rates go up, food costs double and there is no There’s no way to charge more than £5 for a teapot.
“The two-story building is better suited for yet another multi-chain restaurant or pub.
“We just don’t have the same level of financial reserves to completely overhaul the site.
“As you can see from the street, the larger national vendors are absorbing market share due to the mass shear brands.
“I feel like York is getting a little too focused on hen parties and bachelor parties, and a tea room doesn’t fit that.
“The whole business is being relocated to Saudi Arabia and will focus on offering English tea and related UK products from stores in Riyadh and Jeddah.
“We have always had a strong identity in the Middle East and are exploring a new developing market, especially with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals.”
Founded in 2005, The Tea Palace once had a shop in London’s Covent Garden and currently sells many different London blends online.
Mr P’s Curious Tavern closed in 2020 after first opening in Low Petergate in 2016.
The man behind the business was Andrew Pern of York, the executive chef/manager of Star Inn the City in York, Star Inn The Harbor in Whitby and Star Inn in Harome, near Helmsley.