Afternoon teas holds a special place in the hearts of BSBs across the south. Virginia belle Patricia Bradby is the owner of Miss Priss Tea, a tea party catering company. She took her excitement about afternoon tea and built a business that provides dainty food and delicious tea to eager southern belles.
What You Provide:
Tea Party Catering – Premium loose leaf teas, finger sandwiches, miniature pastries, scones and clotted cream all served on vintage china
Where are you based?
New Kent, Virginia
Why did you decide to start a business?
After graduating business school I was determined to find a career that I truly loved. When I couldn’t find a position that seemed to be a good fit, I decided to create my own. This business allows me to share my love for afternoon tea with the world and it also allows me to spend some time with my mother who helps me with events.
What is your favorite client story?
I ran into an old family friend while antique shopping for more tea ware in the north side of Richmond. This happened on a Friday afternoon. He was not aware that I had moved back to town and asked what brought me back to the area. I told him about my new venture and ironically he was in need of a caterer for an event that following Wednesday that just happened to be taking place at the new wedding venue/event space in town that I was dying to see. I emailed him my menu and price list that evening and he booked my services the following day. The event was wonderful and I now have a great relationship with that venue. God works in mysterious ways.
What is your website?
Who are some of your business idols?
– Adel Donegan for giving my dream a concrete vision
(Founder of Vintage Tea and Cake Company)
– Perkins Morgan for showcasing how to grow a well-branded small business
(Co-Owner of Paisley & Jade)
– Richard Branson for demonstrating that no idea is too crazy and that passion will take you far (Founder of Virgin Group)
Do you have any mentors?
– Isis Adewale (ExI Concepts)
– Sam Kimball (New York Wine Events)
What is your favorite thing about being southern?
Having that flair for hospitality engrained in me at an early age. It’s not only the foundation of my business but it’s really just at the core of who I am. That warm, inviting southern charm has helped me build a family of friends in every city I ever lived in (which has been quite a few). It’s that faith in the general kindness of people that has allowed me to welcome strangers into my life who have since become great clients, vendors, consultants and friends.
What is your favorite southern dish?
Collard greens with ham hock, I could eat a whole pot by myself. That’s one vegetable my parents never had trouble getting me to finish.
What is the most important thing you have done to build your business?
I’m always thoughtful about how my brand is represented, down to the little details. For instance, my business cards are premium cardstock from moo.com, which cost more but it’s worth the investment. That’s the lasting impression many people will take away from our short conversations and interactions. The design is simple yet classic and the card is high-quality. Those are the adjectives that I hope come to mind when people think of Miss Priss Tea.
What are your favorite southern brands?
Oliver Pluff & Co. (teas of course), Savannah Bee Company, and Chesapeake Bay Candles
What is your favorite item or piece of clothing to wear/use while doing business?
My pearl stud earrings make every outfit feel simply classic.