The tea shop takes on a new life

The Vashon Tea Shop, which has been for sale for some time, got a new lease on life earlier this month when Beng-Imm Low purchased it from Susan Bassett, who started the intimate café in the heart of town.

Rose Ellen Albers and Beng-Imm Low share a moment at the Vashon Tea Shop.

The Vashon Tea Shop, which has been for sale for some time, got a new lease on life earlier this month when Beng-Imm Low purchased it from Susan Bassett, who started the intimate café in the heart of town.

Low, right, who will run the shop with Rose Ellen Albers, left, came to Vashon a little more than five years ago, she said, thinking she was taking a one-year break from her work as a clinical pastoral supervisor, a job that entailed training people to be chaplains in hospitals. That one-year break extended longer and longer, she noted with a laugh, until July 6, when she bought the tea shop.

“I think it’s an exciting challenge,” she said of her new venture. “I’ve never run a business like this.”

She intends to make some changes but will do so gradually. She plans to extend the hours, for instance, opening weekday mornings at 9 a.m. instead of 10:30 a.m., and she hopes to soon add “some more savory foods” for lunch.

“Susan gave birth to this place, and we hope to build on it,” Low said.