New Moon Gallery moves, expands

New Moon Gallery moves, expands

September 21st, 2011 by Emily Crisman in Community Hixson

New Moon Gallery owners Wendy and David Wheeler relax in the seating area of the store's new tea room. Photo by Emily Crisman

New Moon Gallery has added a tea room to its new 2 North Shore location two doors down from its former space.

"We believe in this complex and I think it's a center for our customer base," said co-owner Wendy Wheeler as to why she and her husband, co-owner David Wheeler, chose to move yet stay in 2 North Shore.

She said the complex's shared outdoor patio space is ideal for the tea room, which fits in well with the health- and fitness-oriented businesses making up most of the complex.

"People come here to do yoga, eat healthy and get facelifts, and we're a part of that healthy living," said Wendy Wheeler.

The fact that the couple lives across the street at One North Shore was also a deciding factor.

New Moon currently features 35 different tea varieties, including many herbal and ayurvedic teas, many of which come from an estate in India, David Wheeler said.

"You can get really good tea here you can't get anywhere else," Wendy Wheeler said.

Not only are some of the teas featured hard to find, so are tea rooms throughout the Scenic City, said her husband, which is part of the reason for their addition of one. All their teas are made with water purified by reverse osmosis, a process which the couple said leaves the water purer by removing all the minerals contained instead of just treating them with chlorine.

"We want to continue to expand the tea offerings," said David Wheeler, who said he originally wanted to add a coffee shop since first opening New Moon in St. Elmo 22 years ago. "Each time I order I add a couple more, which is kind of how the whole gallery got to be the way it is."

The retail portion of New Moon continues to offer a scaled-down version of its former selection, a hodgepodge of books, candles, incense, music, posters, chimes and decorative items.

New Moon also now features sweets including pastries and macaroons from the Hot Chocolatier and serves coffee, espresso drinks, sandwiches and appetizers such as hummus and baba ganoush.

Local coffee roasters Blue Smoke have created a special New Moon blend, a mild-to-medium roast sold by the pound, said David Wheeler. The personal recipient of a double lung transplant, he is donating a portion of the proceeds to Donate Life.

The tea room gives New Moon the space and seating to host events such as readings and book signings, said Wendy Wheeler.

"It's going to be a good gathering place," she said.

New Moon Gallery and Tea Room is at 2 North Shore and can be reached at 265-6321.