Farmers market merchant opens teahouse in downtown Vancouver
By Rachel Pinsky, for The Columbian
Published: May 19, 2021, 6:07am
Launchpad winner Marianne Wilson Stein will open Dandelion Teahouse & Apothecary on Saturday in downtown Vancouver.
Stein won the $40,000 prize from Vancouver’s Downtown Association in August. Her teahouse concept was picked from a pool of over 35 applicants by an independent panel of local residents, property owners and business owners.
Wilson Stein’s business, Gifts From the Earth, has been a Vancouver Farmers Market staple for a decade. She began making natural products 20 years ago when a naturopath friend enlisted her to make lotions and bath salts for Christmas presents.
To learn her craft, Stein read through a library of books on natural remedies. She began creating her own teas and natural body care products 10 years ago based on her acquired knowledge and intuition. Since then she’s created everything from inflammation cream and anti-aging lotion to herbal teas that soothe common problems such as seasonal allergies and stress.
Dandelion’s new downtown spot at 109 W. Seventh St. combines an old world apothecary vibe with modern touches. It’s the culmination of Stein’s expertise and passions. In addition to her natural body care and herbal tea work, she’s been a project manager and design manager at LS Panas Associates in Lake Oswego, Ore., for more than eight years where she works on high-end residential projects. Her background in managing projects and interior design helped her transform a former salon into a brightly lit, color-filled space.
Stein opened up the 1,900-square-foot storefront by taking down a dividing wall and painting the surfaces bright white. She wanted to combine the old and the new by keeping the original well-worn wood floors dotted with stiletto holes and exposed brick walls while adding her own modern touches like mid-century modern furniture, rotating local art, and bits of bright color.
Stein’s daughter, Kat, returned from a decade in Philadelphia to run Dandelion. She’s been instrumental in getting the teahouse set up, doing everything from painting the walls to helping to make the herbal teas. She plans on adding live music, open mic nights, and events like tea classes, yoga, and a moon course when allowed.
For now, patrons can come in and drink tea. They can also buy Stein’s herbs, loose tea, natural beauty products and artisan products from local vendors like Cellar Door candles, Nomad trail mix, Pottery by Marjorie, and baked goods from Chandelier Bakery. The mother and daughter team plan on having a grand opening celebration sometime in June.