Dahlia and her friend Jackie (affectionately called "Jackie-O") have been coming to Classics, a flower and confection shop in Cypress, ever since the quaint store moved to this southern California location nearly a year ago.
Classics http://www.classicsflowers.com is where the two women met, and here is where they will sit, sip multiple teas, nibble all manner of macaroons and other delectable goodies, talk, laugh and watch and mingle with strangers-- for hours upon hours, day after day. It is easy to see why the women-- like so many others-- lose track of time and battle prying themselves away from this place that appeals to the senses in a variety of intoxicating ways-- through sight, smell, taste, touch, sound, intellect, curiosity.
This flower, tea and pastry shop sits in the middle of a shopping center, but once you cross the threshold, you feel as though you have entered an enchanted garden in a fantasy story, stocked with sugar plums and lollipops. Owner Rosa Solis opened Classics as a flower and plant shop nearly 20 years ago in a little store in LaPalma, tucked inside a much less polished strip mall than the shopping center she enjoys now. Nevertheless, her customers and new clients alike were drawn to the original store because of the way Rosa and her staff arrange gorgeous flower and plant arrangements, as well as the signature coziness and camaraderie they offer guests, and the lure of unique gifts reminiscent of another era.
With a passion for flowers and decorating, Solis also uses her resources and skills to service events-- from workshops and retreats to weddings and corporate meetings. What her earlier clients may not have known about her is that she has always harbored a deep passion for tea and wanted to one day own a tea house. When she decided to move her store to Cypress, she remodeled the space to include a kitchen, then hired chefs and partnered with Art of Tea http://artoftea.com/ to offer her patrons a customized tea, pastry and sandwich menu. The marriage of flowers and tea and food blossomed into an instant hit.
Although the pastry and tea bar, backed by bold yellow and white stripes, sits near the back of the shop, it beckons entering patrons to its counter to savor the scent of loose and blended white, black, green or Rooibos teas and salivate over the pastry display: the assorted cupcakes, just-out-of-the-oven scones, caramel "pop tarts," and a cornucopia of French macaroons are all mouth-watering.
After placing their orders, guests peruse the store to shop for handmade jewelry, old-fashioned candies and toys, and other one-of-a-kind gifts or settle into one of the bright lounging sofas or tables. Other clients head for the flower counter, where Rosa and her staff help them listen to their desires, then get busy arranging perfect floral concoctions for their loved ones.
Whether with flowers or trinkets in tow or sweet treats satiating their bellies, folks emerge from Classics feeling as though the world is a bit more beautiful, sweeter, magical. When, that is, they can finally push themselves to leave.