Jeddah's Tea defies the odds, survives COVID-19 pandemic, reopens tearoom

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Small but mighty, Jeddah's Tea is 590 square feet of hard work and determination located in the heart of Durham.

"It's been a really really difficult and trying year. The only thing that kept us going was the support from our community," owner Morgan Siegel said.

Just a few months ago, Siegel worried her lifelong dream would come crashing down. According to a study from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, nearly half of Black small businesses closed between February and April 2020.

Siegel knew the odds were stacked against her.

"Everyday I was nervous. I mean we had nothing in the accounts," Siegel said.

Siegel quickly put together a website, knowing she would need 40 orders a day to keep her business alive. Siegel stepped out of her comfort zone, taking to social media to drum up support.

"As a small business owner, somebody who is supposed to be serving the community, I don't want to continue to ask. Not because I don't think the community will come through, the community has always come through," Siegel said.

After 16 months, Jeddah's Tea was finally able to reopen its doors. It's something Siegel said could not have been done without help from the community.

"It's really actually overwhelming, because there were so many points we didn't think we could do it. And thanks to the community we're able to come back and provide the environment we hoped to," Siegel said.
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