Tea, Food and Community

Tea, Food and Community

About Us

Passiflora Tea Room & Herbal Apothecary was opened in 2000 by owner Karen Tyson out of her passion for herbal medicine. Karen has her MS in Nutrition, Ayurveda Certification from Kripalu, and Herbal Certification from Herbalist and Alchemist David Winston. 

Passiflora has grown alongside Karen’s five children and northwest Connecticut’s community to become:

  • ·    The cafĂ© for organic, nutrient-dense and delicious meals,
  •      The herbal apothecary for those seeking a holistic approach to their health,
  • ·    The tea room for sharing warmth and joy with new and old friends, and
  • ·    The local meeting spot for musicians, artists, writers and makers to share their creativity and  passion with the community.

Passiflora continues to grow with our customers’ requests… how times have changed! We used to hide the word “Vegan” on our dessert menu! Now we are happy to be leading the way with the best homemade selection of Vegan and Gluten-Free Desserts and the Best Veggie Burgers and artisanal Quiches and Soups.

Our chefs prepare our food from scratch, with positive energy and love, just steps from our organic garden. What we do not grow we buy locally where we can among organic CT and New England Farmers and businesses. Each day we try to do better than the day before, and make sure our customers are happier when they leave than when they came in.

Enjoy the delicious food, warming teas and local art that graces our walls. Get a chair massage, join an Open Mic night or drum circle, come for a Sunday afternoon concert, discuss the latest in nutrition at our book club, and take a personalized herb and tea blend home with you. If you are interested in a health consultation, let a Goddess know. And remember us for catering all your events large and small!

We are honored to serve you!

Passiflora Team

Below are some of the faces of the people who love to serve and cook for you!

Hanna Martocchio
Hanna is from West Hartland, Ct. As a lover of all things vegan and organic, she searched for a job that she connected well with until she found Passiflora. She is currently an art major while serving and creating beautiful plates at the Passiflora Cafe full time. 

Her favorite tea is Tropical Green and her favorite dish is the Tempeh Ruben (hold the cheese) with a side of Quinoa.

Nicole Beattie
Nicole attended the CT Culinary Institute for baking, and worked in traditional bakeries for about 6 years until joining us here. It didn't jive well with her to be focused on creating less healthy traditional sweets, and with an increasing allergy to gluten, she made the leap to our Passiflora kitchen where she's able to cook delicious savory meals, and healthier, often gluten-free sweet treats. Nicole's passion for cooking is a life-long one, and she enjoys experimenting in her garden and her kitchen with her young daughter, Ellie. When she isn't in the kitchen, Nicole enjoys the opportunity to spend time exploring the surrounding woods with her family. She's also excited to be sharing her zest for cooking through Passiflora's monthly cooking classes.

Nicole's favorite food at Passiflora is the tempeh reuben on Bridget's gluten free pumpernickel bread. She also loves the proprietary blend, Soothing Sour Tonic as an iced tea. It tastes refreshing and tart, with a calm uplifting effect.

Kerry is an herbalist in training and farmer with a degree in art for environmental awareness. Last year she took the Farm to Pharmacy introductory herbalism course at Goldthread Herb Farm in MA, and for the past four years she has worked on organic farms. From Torrington, CT she came to work at Passiflora because it aligns with her interest in learning more about herbs, in connecting people to the land through food, and in building an urban community centered around herbal healing. She has begun to share some of her passion for food and herbs in our Passiflora cooking classes.

Kerry’s favorite food at Passiflora is a veggie burger on greens with roasted red peppers, goat cheese, sesame ginger dressing, edamame hummus, fresh sprouts, shredded carrots and sauerkraut. Her favorite tea is the Morgan Blend tea, which has a deep smokey flavor.
Jackie Tyson
As the youngest daughter of Passiflora's owner, Karen Tyson, Jackie grew up with Passiflora as a kind of second home. She recently graduated from Taft, and is taking a gap year before attending Carlton College in the fall of 2016 for geology and political science. During this time, when she isn't working here Jackie is busy pursuing her passion for travel and the great outdoors. She's enrolled in various outdoor adventure-based programs that are taking her to South America and Indonesia, where she'll be climbing, hiking, and immersing herself in local culture. Jackie has worked on local farms, and has a zest for nature, health, and physical activity, which make her a natural fit at Passiflora.

Jackie's favorite food at Passiflora is the grilled cheese with sweet potato hummus. While she enjoys cycling through our vast tea menu, Jackie's go-to regular tea is the genmaicha, a rich earthly green tea with puffed rice, and soba.

Ella Ross
Ella is entering her sophomore year at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Ella grew up on a small farm in New Hartford and attended Hunter Montessori School where she met the Tyson family. Ella loves the outdoors, ultimate frisbee, goats and her family. She believes in maintaining a healthy and happy lifestyle and that is why she chose to work at Passiflora. Ella is also coordinating the eco-justice house next year at Bates and hopes to encourage more students to engage in social and environmental activism both on and off campus.

Her favorite menu items at Passiflora include the beet burgers with fresh arugula and goat cheese and the black bean brownies. Her tea of choice is the coconut oolong.

Chloe Shoaf
Chloe grew up in Granby and is currently enrolled at Northwestern CT Community College and the Institute of Sustainable Nutrition. She is excited to be learning all about wild foods, herbal medicine, cooking with herbs, gardening, and the complex art of healing the body with nature. With all of her interests, Chloe is a very natural fit here at Passiflora. She is passionate about cooking and eating healthfully, and spends some of her off time honing her kitchen magic. As a dancer, Chloe thrives on physical activity, whether it be yoga, or exploring the outdoors on her bike. She enjoys spending time playing the ukelele and connecting with her family and is enjoying the family of regulars here at Passiflora, especially at the Friday Open Mics.

Chloe's favorite food at Passiflora is a veggie burger with sweet potato hummus on greens with beets and our balsamic dressing. The sweet potato hummus is really her favorite! She also loves the Super Blue Lavender tea with some coconut milk and a touch of Stevia for some sweetness. Her desserts of choice are the black bean brownie and blueberry lavender cupcake.

Lindsay Humphrey
Lindsay was part of the Passiflora family for 6 years, contributing everything from managing the cafe, baking, serving tables, and making the place feel warm and welcoming to all. We wish her well on her new adventure in Portland, OR!

Lindsay’s favorite tea at Passiflora is Sencha green tea. She recommends the tempeh reuben with sweet potato hummus. (Yes, you can add the sweet potato hummus to any of the sandwiches - makes a great cheese substitute!) 

Alex Bailey
Alex grew up in town and has been visiting Passiflora since she was in the fifth grade when she would meet her best friend for chocolate cake and tea. She was a special team member to the crew at Passiflora, and we wish her lots of success as a full-time massage therapist!

Alex’s favorite food at Passiflora is the grilled cheese with pesto, the Juicy Ginger Mate tea and the carrot cake cupcakes. She recommends trying the Protein Jolt smoothie with dark chocolate almond milk.

Emily Humphrey
Emily was a beloved member of our cafe staff. We wish her all the best in the future, with her beautiful new baby!

Emily's favorite food at Passiflora is the Beet, Walnut, and Goat Cheese Salad with Balsamic dressing and Sprouts. The sweetness of the beets with the tart goat cheese makes this salad a very satisfying one. She starts each day with the tulsi (holy basil) tea, which she says gives her a long-lasting energy boost to carry her through her busy days.