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Tea & Books Focus of New Merion Village Shop

Susan Post Susan Post Tea & Books Focus of New Merion Village Shop
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Part tea shop, part bookstore, Austen & Company has opened its doors at 1530 S. High St. in Merion Village.

The family-run business is helmed by creator Kay Austen Johnson, daughter Alicia Zimmey, son A.J. Willey and son-in-law Leighton Zimmey.

“Upon leaving my job as a business manager in 2016, I found myself at a crossroads: unready to go gently into the so-called golden years, yet unsure if it was wise to reinvent myself at this point in life,” Johnson says.

At the encouragement of her family, she decided to build her dream shop inspired by Paris bookstore Shakespeare & Company.

Other Ohio-based businesses supply the tea, coffee and pastries on the café side of Austen & Company. Teas are sourced from Cincinnati-based Churchill’s Fine Teas, coffee from local roaster Roaming Goat, and noshes from Columbus sweets maker The Pastry Factory.

The retail side of the business is a mesh between a bookstore and an art gallery, and in a post-COVID world, will host events. For now, there’s also space for a cozy, socially-distanced hangout.

Austen & Company will continue to expand its lineup. The store has plans to soon offer pre-packaged snacks, British import goodies, beer and cocktails, including a few tea-based concoctions.

Austen & Company is open from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, follow Austen & Company on Facebook.

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