A Q&A with Tiffany Craney of the Dragonfly Tea Room
A handsome Victorian house built in 1901 houses one of the liveliest lunch spots in Canal Fulton in its former living room.
The Dragonfly Tea Room, which opened in 2011 at 116 Canal Street S, is popular for its menu of what owner Tiffany Craney calls “Southern tea house cooking.” The cozy setting, with lace curtains and loads of teapots, has plenty of period charm. And the Dragonfly offers popular monthly events for kids.
Q. How did the Dragonfly come about?
A. “Cooking for my family and friends had always been my passion. I did a bit of catering when my kids got a little older. I decided with a lot of encouragement from my husband, Sean, to open up the tea room.”
Q. What condition was the house in before you opened?
A. “It was horrible. The ceiling was falling, the walls were in poor shape, the floors were pretty bad. My husband and I got right to work.”
Q. Were you successful right away?
A. “Pretty much right from the start, the city of Canal Fulton was very supportive. There was a lot of word of mouth, and it just got busier and busier. Business has grown each year.”
Q. Tell me about the food you serve.
A. “We have quiche, homemade soups, sandwiches, paninis, wraps. We have chicken salad, Southern pimento salad, strawberry pretzel salad and broccoli salad. I do Southern bread pudding, hummingbird cake, scones, lemon blueberry bread. We have 40 loose-leaf teas to choose from, coffee, lemonade, soft drinks. Two years ago, we started serving 10 different wines, primarily at bridal parties, retirement parties. We do a lot of private parties after-hours.”
Q. You serve the food on old china, correct?
A. “It’s all vintage dishes, teacups and dinner plates. Nothing matches, but it’s all fun.”
Q. Don’t you have a lot of special events?
A. “We do a lot of themed events for kids, something almost every month. We just did a Frozen Winter Wonderland event and a Princess Valentine’s Tea. For Easter, we’re doing an Easter Bunny Lunch. In June, we do an American Girl Doll Party. A Princess and Pirates Party for Halloween.”
Q. Your clientele is mostly female, but a buddy and I stopped in for lunch and loved the food.
A. “It’s primarily women, but we do get a lot of men in here. They always seem a little hesitant when they first come in, but when they get a taste of the food and see the portion sizes, they’re always pleasantly surprised. They don’t go away hungry.”
Q. Does running the Dragonfly keep you very busy?
A. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s fun and it keeps me going. We have a lot of regulars after eight years. It’s so nice to go out in the dining room and see friendly familiar faces.”