BROOKLYN HEIGHTS – Haley Fox, co-owner and co-founder of Alice’s Tea Cup, basically found the business’ latest Brooklyn location by accident.
“I happened upon this location because my stepchildren went to PS8 [right next door], and they actually had already graduated from PS8, but I was walking in the wrong direction and one of my stepdaughters was like, ‘oh, let’s go walk by PS8,’ and we saw the ‘For Rent’ sign here. I was like who has this much sunlight and a corner?” Fox said. Despite this case of kismet, she and her sister, co-owner and co-founder Lauren Fox, had been wanting to open a Brooklyn location for some time to join their two other successful Manhattan spots.
This new location, Alice’s Teacup To-Go, opened on June 18th. It is a bit different from the other shops—more fast-casual with a cafe feel and no sit-down service.
“This part was for the coffee and the tea, more fast service, so we’re not going to obviously have the table service here [as they do in Manhattan] and we think it’s just a more cozy model. It’s totally different, but the product is the same,” Fox said. Alice’s To-Go is using Brooklyn Roasting Company coffee, which was the favorite the sisters tried leading up to their opening—not to mention they’re local, another thing important to Fox.
The future of Alice’s Teacup To-Go will bring pre-made sandwiches within the next few weeks, as well as soups, lunchboxes for kids during the school year, and potentially petit fours. Additionally, they plan to do some private parties.
“We’ve been approached already about doing a couple of parties for kids, I know that’s the model people are used to. The locations in the city are quite reserved for bridal showers or baby showers or kids. I don’t know about showers here but we’re definitely going to do some kid’s parties, with wings and fairy dust,” Fox said.
Fox notes that she and her sister decided to open up this location as an example—or test—for a possibly more franchisable model of their business. The location was designed by the Fox sisters and features a bright turquoise couch, handmade stained glass hearts and cards, and mushroom stools, which Fox says are “super comfortable.”
“We had started franchising, or became franchisable, and one of the things we were offering in the franchise agreement was sort of a cafe version of us that could be more easily rolled out, whether it’s airports or hotels or campuses. So, we thought if we’re moving the bakery we should probably model this cafe version and see what it’s like and have an example of it. And, get serious about coffee for the first time in 18 years. So that’s what we did,” Fox said.
So far, the coffee has been a popular item at the new location.
“I mean the espresso is excellent, so all the espresso-based drinks—maybe the cappuccino or cortado [is most popular]—and our cold brews are really great,” Fox said.
Fox says she is in the store pretty much every day for some amount of time as they open and adds that she still feels like they are in the “soft” opening phase. One thing is certain though—her love for the neighborhood.
“The neighborhood is really wonderful. I love Brooklyn Heights. It’s stunning first of all, and everyone is so nice. Even the neighbors I’ve tried to give things to will say, ‘Nope, we’re here to support you’, so it’s really lovely,” Fox said.
Alice’s Teacup To-Go is located at 43 Hicks Street in Brooklyn Heights between Middagh and Cranberry streets.