Joyful Tea Plans to Rebuild After Boise International Market Fire 

click to enlarge - Looking into Joyful Tea after the fire. -  - KAREN HATHAWAY
  • Karen Hathaway
  • Looking into Joyful Tea after the fire.
Karen and Terry Hathaway spent years trying to decide on the perfect location to open their tea shop, called Joyful Tea. In the fall of 2014, they thought they had found the perfect place: a storefront in the Boise International Market. 

Boise Weekly readers met the couple in January, when they gave a tour of their shop and the 120 jars of loose leaf teas neatly crammed together on its shelves. 

Those 120 jars, as well as all the Hathaways' inventory, their collection of two dozen delicate china teapots and their retirement savings went up in flames the night of Sept. 5. Terry answered a phone call about the fire at approximately midnight. The couple rushed down to see the fire engulf their livelihood, as well as nearly 20 other businesses.

"It took us the rest of the night to realize this was real," Karen said.

She watched as several people involved in the International Market wept upon seeing the wreckage in the morning.

But now, Karen said it's time to move forward.

"We need to be in business immediately, right away, for our business to function," she said. 

click to enlarge - The table in Joyful Tea that always had at least one pot of brewed tea waiting for customers, now charred and hardly recognizable. -  - KAREN HATHAWAY
  • Karen Hathaway
  • The table in Joyful Tea that always had at least one pot of brewed tea waiting for customers, now charred and hardly recognizable.
The couple is in the process of wading through insurance claims to see what sort of payout they will get. They'll also be entitled to a portion of money from the GoFundMe account set up to help vendors of the Boise International Market. So far, it has raised more than $53,000. They also set up their own GoFundMe page and have raised almost $3,000. They need close to $45,000 to replace inventory and set up shop in a new location.

So far, they've eyed two potential storefronts—and if all works out, they could be back in business by the end of October. They're also working on expanding their online store to help keep their business afloat in the meantime.

Though it's a horrible tragedy, Karen is choosing to look at the bright side. She called their spot at the market a great "incubator" for their business, but they were outgrowing that location. They wanted to hold more events and crete a quiet environment for their customers. They found challenges with the market, but they also enjoyed the experience of working with different cultures and helping the market grow.

"Being in the Boise International Market was a unique and wonderful experience," she said. "Something like this, that looks catastrophic, you can get immersed in the tragedy. But we're not going to do that. Our hearts are breaking and we've shed tears, but we know we need to move forward."

- Karen and Terry Hathaway in their tea shop, when Boise Weekly first met them in January. -  - JESSICA MURRI
  • Jessica Murri
  • Karen and Terry Hathaway in their tea shop, when Boise Weekly first met them in January.

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