The Elmwood Inn Fine Teas story began in 1990 when Shelley Richardson opened a tea room in the Civil War village of Perryville, Kentucky - just as the American tea renaissance was about to awaken. For the next 14 years, Elmwood Inn developed an international reputation as one of America's favorite locations for a traditional afternoon tea. Bruce and Shelley Richardson chronicled their life in tea through three books and eventually launched a tea importing and wholesale packaging company - Elmwood Inn Fine Teas. After serving thousands of guests, the tea room closed on July 31, 2004 in order for the family to focus on their expanding tea and publishing businesses.

From their new Danville, Kentucky facility, Elmwood Inn Fine Teas imports, blends and packages teas for hotels, retailers, gourmet grocers, restaurants, tea bars, coffee shops and museums across North America, while Benjamin Press is now the largest publisher of tea books in America. 

Being long-time educators, the Richardsons felt the need to share their tea talents with eager students. Since 2000, over 400 aspiring tea entrepreneurs from across the world have attended their annual TEA MasterClass. These seminars, combined with the 14 tea books they have now authored on the subject, continue to inspire tea professionals worldwide.  Meet the Richardsons at these events.

"Our goals are to explore the globe in search of extraordinary teas, to honor and respect the people who work to produce those teas, and to offer exceptional teas to a world thirsting for peace and equality. We are committed to sharing the ideal that tea is a lifestyle; not a commodity."

-Bruce, Shelley and Ben Richardson