The White Heron Tea & Gifts, an award-winning destination shop in Tampa Bay, is celebrating its fifth anniversary in downtown New Port Richey! What started as a dream to create a beautiful atmosphere and unique shopping and dining experience has turned into so much more.
The Growth of New Port Richey
Today, The White Heron is recognized as a regional draw for its diverse tea blends, its charming atmosphere, and its knowledgeable owner and resident tea sommelier, Kelly Hackman. Kelly grew up in New Port Richey and has been at the forefront of the town’s drastic shift. In a past life, she played a significant role with the New Port Richey Main Street non-profit as their marketing director, and with the Chasco Fiesta committee as their executive director. These days, she’s excited to continue leading the charge as a business owner, and points to businesses like Lis’s Pieces and Sip on Grand as indications of downtown’s potential.
We wanted to help create a beautiful downtown by starting a business that our city could take pride in.Kelly Hackman, owner of The White Heron
The White Heron Tea Room Takes Flight
The White Heron’s storefront on Grand Boulevard is certainly a point of pride, and for many folks, an introduction to New Port Richey. A true vanguard, Kelly invested in downtown long before Keiser or The Central had entered the conversation. Within ten months of opening, the three-table tea room purchased the adjoining gift shop (the beloved Karen’s Gifts, who had been in town for 23 years) and expanded to triple capacity. “Keeping the novelty of a beautiful gift shop and combining that with our tea room has been a major key to our success,” explains Hackman.
The initial expansion was just the start. Kelly spent the past five years developing a nationally recognized tea brand called Driftwood Tea Company. Selling in-store and online, Driftwood pioneered one of the world’s most successful blends in the form of Luscious Loquat Green Tea. Paying homage to local flavors, Luscious Loquat took NPR to the world stage by winning the Silver Medal in the 2019 Global Tea Championships.
The White Heron continues to earn positive attention for downtown NPR. Most recently, the shop was named Best Tea Room in Tampa Bay and featured on WFLA’s Daytime TV Show!
Visit the White Heron
6228 Grand Boulevard, New Port Richey, FL