Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tea Room Management

This little cutie, Cooking for Profit touts itself as being the First Practical Hand-Book for Tea Rooms.  Published in 1922 and written by Alice Bradley, she pulls from her expertise as the Principal of Miss Farmer's School of Cookery in Boston and culinary editor for the "Woman's Home Companion".  In this book, she covers the money-making opportunities to be found in food service where women are shown how to establish and conduct a profitable business.  Original ideas and recipes are included.  Chapters include specialty cooking, cake and cake making, catering for social occasions, special luncheons and suppers and dinner parties.  A complete chapter is dedicated to tea room management, with the beginning statement that interest in opening tea rooms is wide spread, from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Requisites for a successful tea room include good location, unusual or expressive name, distinctive decorations and furnishings, absolute cleanliness, competent hostess or manager, wisely chosen waitresses, effective advertising, food beyond criticism and correctly priced, and care in business management.  All very good advice even now.

Photographs throughout the book feature tea sandwiches (shown here), tables set for formal dinners, and also a tea room in a department store that was designed and managed by one of the author's students.
 This catering and food service management guide was a gift from my mother in 1988, two years before Sweet Remembrances opened.  It has been fun 'rediscovering' the information and advice tucked within these pages.  Recipes for tea sandwiches, menus for formal dinners, and all around useful advice still appropriate now. Although, iced drinks for 25 cents, chocolate fudge cake for 15 cents, and baked lobster cardinal French pastry, and coffee, tea or chocolate for $1.35 might suggest prices of a different era.

10 comments:

relevanttealeaf said...

What a wonderful book to own from bygone days -- especially being a tea room owner. As I read some of the content you shared I thought,
"The advice is timeless." The book has even more sentiment since it was from your mom. She'd be so proud of the wonderful job you're doing at Sweet Rememberances. Your dad has probably told her all about your lovely tea room!

Karen's Place said...

What a delightful little book and it found you again. So glad you posted a few pages for us to see. Your Mom was on to something.

Steph said...

A real gem!

amherstrose said...

What a gem! I wonder how many women read this and became tea room owners? It most certainly would have been a great source of inspiration and information for women entrepreneurs of the day.
Would love to read this whole book.
Thank you for sharing your treasure.

Angela McRae said...

Ohhhhh, you KNOW this is right up my alley, so thanks for sharing a title I've never seen before! This is surely the earliest one of these I've seen. And I enlarged the picture to read the name of the department store tea room on the sign at back but can't quite make it out ... Dollmann's Tea Garden, or something like that? Love the little slipcovers on the back of the chairs!

Antiques And Teacups said...

What a fabulous book! I'll bet it's interesting to see what's the same & what's different, as well as how styles have changed. A treasure!
Ruth

Rosemary said...

@Angela, I took out the magnifying glass and can see the sign for the Department Store tearoom. It says 'Pollvanns Tea Garden'.

Elizabeth said...

How wonderful to have that book!

Marilyn said...

What a very thoughtful gift from your mom. Those old books are so fascinating to read.

PlainJane said...

Greetings Rosemary,
I'm a new follower of your lovely blog and want to thank you for your review of this book. I took you up on your recommendation and my copy arrived yesterday in the mail. I skipped right to the chapter on Tea Rooms and am half-way though...what a wonderful and timeless read! (Yes, I even liked Ms. Bradley's instruction to inventory the "icebox"). What a treasure! Thank you for sharing.