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Spafford tea room offers ‘pampered peacefulness’ to its customers

Inside Grammie's Pantry, customers can experience a full English tea service and also browse the gifts and antiques for sale.

Inside Grammie's Pantry, customers can experience a full English tea service and also browse the gifts and antiques for sale.

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Erika Rudl

Grammie's Pantry Tea Room & Gift Shop is in a renovated 19th century one-room schoolhouse on Woodworth Road in Spafford. Susan and Karl Smith have owned and operated the shop for 22 years.

— Eleven miles south of the Village of Skaneateles on route 41, hidden away on Woodworth Road, is a unique establishment meant specifically for people seeking a secluded, peaceful place to relax.

This small red building, once a 19th century one-room schoolhouse, is now Grammie’s Pantry, a tea room and gift shop designed for people, and especially women, to come and “get away from the stress of life for a while” and be “pampered in peacefulness,” said owner Susan Smith.

Smith, the “Grammie” of Grammie’s Pantry, and her husband Karl have owned and operated the tea room for 22 years. They first bought the property at 1126 Woodworth Rd. in Spafford in the early 1980s when the schoolhouse was only a “shell.” After fixing it up, they made it their home and have lived there ever since.

The Smiths originally opened a little country store on the ground level of their home where ladies would come in and visit. Smith would serve them tea and over time they suggested she should serve a complete English Tea service.

“So I started thinking about it,” Smith recalled, and eventually she set up a little table to serve a few guests. Not long after, the Health Department came around and Grammie’s Pantry was licensed as a full-fledged restaurant with seating for nearly 30 customers.

Many different clientele find their way to Grammie’s Pantry, old and young, women and men, although the majority of guests are women on a “girls’ day out.” The Smiths often host gatherings such as bridal showers and Bible study groups. “You name it,” Smith said, “we can fit it in here.”

A Grammie’s pantry tea service consists of six courses of a seasonal or monthly menu. Teas are offered for the four seasons along with other special “holiday” teas. Throughout February, “Heart to Heart Tea” is served for Valentine’s day.

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