Erin Gwinn Coale has taken tea time to prime time in one of Paducah’s grand dame establishments.
ERIN GWINN COALE FELL IN LOVE WITH AFTERNOON TEA AS A STUDENT AT OXFORD University in England. As a young adult in Paducah, she yearned to recreate that experience. • The yearning led Erin to adapt the age-old English tradition of tea and crumpets into more of a new-age tea at the former Elks Club in downtown Paducah. The elegance of the vintage building provided just the proper backdrop for Erin’s brainchild, Serenitea. • To further the idea that was brewing in her mind, Erin has earned the title of “tea specialist” bestowed by the Specialty Tea Institute.
Serenitea offers seventy-five different teas, including two which are Erin’s personal blends. In addition to a variety of teas, there’s also a variety of gifts for the hostess or bride, beautifully displayed on antiques, which decorate the space. “To me, tea and hospitality go hand in hand,” says Erin. “Our gifts center around that concept.”
Opening Serenitea was “a big endeavor and very frightening,” Erin recalls. However, with her mom by her side and her idea solidly entrenched in her heart, Erin didn’t hesitate to go to Paducah Bank where her family has done business for years.
“Joe Framptom and Carla Berry took care of me from the very beginning. I am amazed at the environment that exists at Paducah Bank. Everyone is so friendly and excited to be at work every day. I hope to take the values I’ve learned from Paducah Bank and create that same culture at Serenitea.”
Owning your own business and being a mother of two isn’t always easy, Erin admits. “One thing that appeals to me about living in Paducah is being near family. My children are blessed with grandparents galore,” she says.
Erin proudly admits that Serenitea is a family affair. She includes Paducah Bank in the close knit group that completes her formula for success. She plans to work closely with her personal bankers as she implements phase two, which includes opening the upstairs ballroom.
“The sky’s the limit for that space” she excitedly exclaims. It is so beautiful.”
Those same words could be used to describe this special young woman and the potential for her impact on the future of downtown Paducah. “Without Paducah Bank and the constant support from my family, I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish my dreams. In return, I hope to foster the dreams of my associates,” Erin says. “I’m very fortunate to have had this opportunity.”