What’s the tea, Asher and Bee?
Asher and Bee Apothecary and Teahouse is a quaint, local store that is filled with the aroma of flowers, herbs, healing powers and homemade snacks.
The current shop, located at 7 E Gregory St. in Pensacola, opened in October 2018 after a season of selling products in a variety of markets, as well as online.
Marni Woodson, owner of Asher and Bee, credits the root of her passion as growing up in a Southern household that loves tea. From there, Marni started experimenting with simple twists, such as peach tea, and expanded from the basic staple teas that align the average kitchen cabinet.
Marni later turned to herbal remedies to help her daughter battling cataracts, which were caused by the side effects of medicine.
“She couldn’t see, so at 13 she had to have two, almost three, surgeries to remove the cataracts and get rid of the inflammation,” Marni said. “It was the last specialist she saw that told her ‘This is the side effect of the steroids that you’re using.’ He told me where to find information at, and I was amazed. What is it about these doctors that we can talk together and not know what’s really going on?”
Marni invested in online classes to better understand natural remedies and the medicinal elements of tea.
“We always go for the taste, not even realizing we’re healing our bodies at the same time,” Marni said. “That’s part of healing for us. You have to actually realize in your mind that, ‘I’m healing myself with a drink’ for the magic to actually work.”
From there, she designed her own tea concoctions and then opened a business named after her 18-month-old daughter, Asher, nicknamed “Bee.”
“I just remember what my grandma used to do for us, you know? If you had skin issues she was scrubbing you down with Crisco, oil, Aloe Vera, whatever. You’re sick? She’d make you a hot toddy.”
Joining Marni is Arrin “Rin” Nedd, a certified energy healer specializing in bed and bowl sound therapies and sacred geometry teachings.
“It’s more than a tea house, but rather a family house of medicine,” Rin said.
Marni remembers visiting the store Harry and David with her mother and being inspired by the “love and attention” showcased in their store and products. These values are pivotal to Asher and Bee, with the goal to maintain local resourced ingredients and handcrafted items. Even the tables lining the walls are sourced from local wood, Marni said.
“Some of the herbs I actually grow in my own garden or in my own house,” Marni said. “I dehydrate local fruit to add to the tea bags, as well as into the hot or iced tea that we serve here.”
This week, Asher and Bee hosted the first official John Sunday Day community gathering in honor of former Florida Representative and Pensacola native John Sunday’s 181st birthday. Asher and Bee created a sip of history in remembrance of Sunday’s influence.
“We made a tea inspired by his wife and what he did for her,” Marni said. “She was a Creole woman, and they met when he was in the Union army, and he married her and brought her here to Pensacola to live. She was homesick. She barely spoke any English, so around his house he planted flowers, bushes, fruit and trees that were native to her home.
“We were able to actually make a tea based off of the fruits and flowers that were in his garden that he made for her. And people were able to try it and take it home too and make their own iced tea. It’s their love story in a cup. It’s beautiful.”
Through intention and inspiration Marni creates her teas. The small symbols woven in history can be found in nature and then in a cup at Asher and Bee.
For instance, at the Spring equinox meditation, Asher and Bee created a tea incorporating Irish flowers paired with Irish cuisine in lieu of St Patrick’s Day.
Together Marni and Rin host several community events to enhance the knowledge of wholesome health within the Pensacola community, such as monthly guided full moon, new moon and chakra meditations.
Marni leads the meditations and Rin provides the sound therapy.
“Honestly this place is bigger than what I thought it was going to be,” Marni said. “For me, it was just a little tea shop. A way to help people with tea and now it’s become like family. We get so many repeaters that say, ‘Oh we love your tea. We love Rin. We love the chakra scrub.’ People come sit, have tea, and talk.”
This Saturday Asher and Bee is hosting “The Healing Power of Plants: The Spirit of Lavandula,” an in-depth and hands-on study of the uses and benefits of lavender. Attendees will learn how to grow the plant as well as make their own lavender salve. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online or at the store.
For more information, check out Asher and Bee’s website or visit their Facebook page for a list of upcoming events.