our roots

The story of The Jackson Avenue Tea Company goes back to Knoxville's original Tea at the Gallery, which was located in Western Plaza. Founders, Elisa King and Colleen Hayzen first opened the doors in 2004. These two friends were both raised in South Africa where tea drinking is a part of life and decided to open a tea room that would embody their love of tea. In so doing, they introduced Knoxville to fine tea, offering over 100 loose leaf teas from all over the world.

In 2010, Wendi Love Prescott became owner and expanded Tea at the Gallery's offerings until its closure in 2014. Since that time, she has operated an online store.

Convinced that Knoxville still needed a place to buy quality tea, Wendi approached Chuck Morris, owner of Morris Creative Group, for some marketing ideas. A few short months later, they partnered in what has now become The Jackson Avenue Tea Company, named for the street in Knoxville that is undergoing a revival.

Wendi said of her customers back in 2010, "What a privilege it has been to get know our wonderful customers -- from the friends who came in to share a cup of tea and the latest news in their lives to the mothers and grandmothers who delighted in introducing a child to the fine tradition of afternoon tea. My staff and I have delighted in welcoming each one of you to the tearoom. We hope it has offered you respite from daily demands and a chance to celebrate the beauty in life and cherish friends and family."

It is in that tradition of tea and friendship that we proudly open The Jackson Avenue Tea Company. Welcome, friends!

There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.
— Henry James (Portrait of a Lady)