The idea started as two separate projects. Michael (Shannon, co-founder along with Scott Stewart) was very interested in designing an extraordinary tabletop experience. He had a deep appreciation for fine teas—the teas that you find, and fall in love with, when you’re traveling. He originally envisioned sharing my love of the poetic tea experience in the form of a book. After about nine months of consideration, Bellocq was the offspring from these two projects.
Bellocq was initially envisioned opening somewhere in New York City. They were searching for spaces in New York City, however Scott found the perfect space…in London. So we were surprisingly and excitedly off to Great Britain.
London is a great city; the structure of their elegance, the richness and layering of their culture. Bellocq has a rigor that was a great fit with London. While in London they found a second, larger space in Brooklyn where we would be able to create our blends. After a year in London, we lost our space and could not spare the resources to relocate and rebuild. So here we are, loving Brooklyn but deeply desiring the next adventure.
The in-house blends, created by Heidi Stewart, make up the backbone of the boutique. From a background in New York restaurants and food styling, blending came instinctively to Stewart. "It's almost like creating perfume. Some things want to work together—they ask to go together." For Stewart, those things might include the passionfruit, rose, green tea and marigold of her "Etoile de L'Inde" blend, or perhaps the juniper and fir tip black tea blend "Noble Savage". They source their own teas, and continue to build farm relationships which inspire their blends.
Though they're clearly influenced by British tea culture, the world of fine Parisian blends is their muse as well. As well, of course, as the tea.