tea room

The longest running employees of the tea room, (left to right) Nancy Murphy, Karen Hines, Laura Brakefield, Patti Brock, Kathy White, Lynn Howell, and Carole Hughes celebrate the establishment’s 35 year anniversary. (Not pictured: Wynelle Garrison, Carolyn Penrose, and Barbara Weaver.)

In 1986, the Especially For You Tea Room and Gift Shop was established by Nancy Murphy on the square in Kaufman inside the historic First National Bank building.

Murphy had previously run a gift shop in Scurry, Country Creations, where she would sell gifts to those traveling through. She also helped at another area business, Something Special Gift Shop.

After assisting and running the few gift shops in town, Murphy decided she wanted to open up a gift shop in downtown Kaufman. “I started the tea room when I wad 50. I let my kids grow up and then got to do this,” Murphy remembered. Her friend Glee Pugh chimed in to add, “It was always a dream of hers.”

On Saturday, current owner Pam Grant hosted a special anniversary celebration honoring Murphy and many past employees who contributed to the success of the business. They included Karen Hines, Laura Brakefield, Patti Brock, Kathy White, Lynn Howell, Carole Hughes, Wynelle Garrison, Carolyn Penrose, and Barbara Weaver.

Murphy rented out a small space in the back of the historic First National Bank building where she set up her gift shop; a beauty shop resided in the store front. When the beauty shop in the front of the building left the space, Murphy decided she wanted to take the extra storefront space and move the gift shop to the front and put a tea room in the back; the idea of the tea room was to draw more people into the gift shop. After remodeling parts of the historic bank building and opening the new and improved space, business blossomed. 

Murphy’s daughter, Jessica Jenkins, recalled growing up with the business. When her mother opened the tea room with the gift shop, “she put her heart and soul into it.” The tea room is a favorite among the citizens of Kaufman. Many little girls would get together and dress up in their Sunday best to have a tea party together; lots of giggles and awe came over the girls once they saw the historic room with their party set up. 

While Murphy and her group of longest working employees celebrated the anniversary of the establishment, they reminisced on their time working at the tea room for Murphy. 

“She was a great boss and employer,” said longtime employee Carole Hughes. She and the other ladies talked about having so much fun at the tearoom that it didn’t feel like work.

“It was the best time in my life,” Murphy said. “I loved all the people and we would do fun and silly things.”

Murphy was adamant that the strong foundation of her business and success streamed from her faith.

“It’s important to have Jesus in your life,” Murphy stated. “I was a fairly new Christian and all these other ladies knew Jesus well. We would pray for people every morning before work and pray for the customers when they would come in.”

Longtime customers attending the event on Saturday said both Murphy and her employees created a truly iconic establishment and piece of Kaufman history; bringing joy to customers with simplicities. 

The tea room continues to serve many residents of Kaufman with their lunches, teas, and gifts; as well as hosting bridal showers, baby showers, tea parties, and catering trays and box lunches.

To learn more about Especially For You Tea Room, visit their website at https://www.especiallyforyoutearoom.com or visit their Facebook at Especially For You Tea Room.

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