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Brewing up change

Cindy Moore’s My Cup of Tea is adding varie-tea to Memphis

    Tea and fighting poverty do not typically go together, but My Cup of Tea is fighting against the status quo. 

    Started in 2012 by Cindy Moore, My Cup of Tea’s mission “is to provide [women] with the tools they need to thrive financially, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.”

    At the time, Moore identified that “our city was winning first in many categories that we didn’t want to be first in.”

     For years Memphis has been topping rankings in crime and poverty.

    So, when she had an opportunity to change the rankings, she jumped at the chance by doing something unexpected: she bought a tea shop and called it My Cup of Tea. 

    Moore located her shop in Orange Mound because according to her, “it was the last place I thought I should be.”

    In 1889, Orange Mound was the first subdivision in the nation created specifically for Black people.From the 1920s to 1960s the neighborhood housed doctors and entrepreneurs, but today there are almost 3,000 abandoned houses in Orange Mound, and the area has some of the highest crime rates in Memphis. 

    Cindy Moore points out My Cup of Tea’s notable tea chandelier while waiting for water to boil for her tea. Moore purchased this tea shop in 2012 in an effort to improve the Memphis community. (Wallis Rogin)

    By choosing Orange Mound, Moore was choosing the place where she felt she could make the most difference, and for her this had to start by empowering women. 

    “I don’t believe that a neighborhood changes until the women are recognized,” Moore said, which is why she only hires women.

    Moore has 11 full-time employees and two interns, all women and many experiencing circumstances that make finding employment hard. According to Moore, “many of the women here wouldn’t be able to hold a job elsewhere because of factors like illiteracy.”

    In Memphis, one in seven adults cannot read above a sixth-grade level. Tennessee as a whole has only a 78% literacy rate. Illiteracy makes it challenging to find a stable job, as the job market becomes incredibly slim. This makes what Moore is doing unusual and important.

    But My Cup of Tea goes beyond tea. Moore is also working to rebuild abandoned houses within two blocks of the My Cup of Tea house, so her employees can easily walk to work.  

    My Cup of Tea employee, L. Cool, owns her own furniture refurbishing business where she restores furniture in need of a refresh. Many My Cup of Tea employees pursue their own interests and offer their services to the community. (Wallis Rogin)

    They also have a woodworking shop, sewing room and a wig shop in their building where women get to explore their own hobbies and interests while creating goods for sale and learning new skills.. Their products and services are sold at My Cup of Tea to anyone in need of anything from tea towels to new furniture. 

    Since opening My Cup of Tea Moore has noticed a major “impact on individuals,” and hopes to expand throughout the entire community. 

     “You can’t repair a city if you never go beyond your own neighborhood,” she said. 

    Products from My Cup of Tea can be found online, in store and all over Memphis. If you are interested in volunteering with My Cup of Tea,email [email protected] for more information. 


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    MC Hitt
    MC Hitt, Reporter
    After spending her summer binging 13 seasons of “Doctor Who,” MC Hitt is pumped to start her first year on Tatler. Some people say MC can be described as daring since she would be willing to save humanity and fight in a zombie apocalypse, but when she is not saving the world, MC loves to climb on the St. Mary’s climbing team and listen to Olivia Rodrigo on repeat. Ironically, MC has two dogs, but is a cat person at heart and plans to adopt a cat as soon as she gets to college. Though she is just a sophomore, MC knows that she wants to pursue a career in writing and is super excited to get to develop her skills as a writer on Tatler this year. MC plans to express her passion for writing by reporting on local news stories and sharing her opinions on topics that she believes need attention. She couldn’t be more thrilled to do great work for Tatler this year! 
    Wallis Rogin
    Wallis Rogin, Co Editor-in-Chief
    Wallis Rogin is a junior who is excited to be spending her third year on Tatler as co Editor-in-chief. You may know Wallis as a quiet person, but once you get to know her you will find that she is a super fun person to be around. She’s always wanted a pet turtle, and once even had one for 12 hours before it disappeared. She is also a bold person and she shows her boldness by mixing her jewelry metals. She likes peanuts, but dislikes peanut butter and hates wooden utensils even more. She understands that wooden utensils are better for the environment, but just can't get behind them. Because of this, whenever she goes to Ben and Jerry’s, she always gets a cone instead of a cup because the Ben and Jerry’s spoons are wooden. She loves their Phish Food ice cream and would love it even more with a plastic spoon. One final fact about Wallis is that she loves New Girl and is still upset that it was taken off Netflix. 

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