Book lovers should mark Feb. 15 on their calendar. That is when a new Kendall Book Exchange opens at 12011 SW 131 Ave., right around the corner from Wendy’s on SW 120th Street.
It’s also the home of Tea ’n Sanity, an online venture that became a fulltime business three years ago, “small but steady” in the words of Manuel and Eunice Rodriguez.
Now, the cozy tea parlor and herbal display showroom will offer a selection of used and new books in an adjoining 1,500-square-foot space, a book-loving browser’s paradise, packed with volumes of all descriptions, fiction and non-fiction.
The creative venture began after the Rodriguezes retired from 25 years of operating a printing and graphics business, known as “Miami Production and Design,” formerly located just a stone’s throw away from the new Kendall Book Exchange.
Adding books to a thriving tea and herbal salon occurred when Eunice happened to be “doing my laundry” at the 127th Avenue Shopping Center last year and saw stacks of books ready to be carted away from a former book exchange store.
“I kept thinking, what was going to happen to all those books,” Eunice mused. “The West Kendall Book Exchange had closed and had piles of leftover books, ready to be carted away. Nobody seemed to want them, not even their owners,” she added.
Those 6,000-plus volumes are now part of a growing inventory of Kendall’s newest bookstore, purchased by the Rodriguezes from the now-defunct West Kendall Book Exchange that closed doors last year after 15 years in business.
“I just thought it would be a good idea, mixing tea shopping and books so people could drop in, find a book they might like, and then sit down to look it over while having a cup of tea,” explained Eunice.
“Now, we’re probably the only book exchange store in the Kendall area,” she said pausing from a pre-opening shelf-stacking chore.
Tea ’n Sanity also offers educational classes in both tea therapy and yoga exercises, part of Eunice’s mission to apprise others of the values of herbal therapies. Fresh organic herbs and fragrant spices line the shelves of the retail outlet that offers a half-dozen tables and chairs for sampling exotic teas.
“I went through an experience of having a medical doctor write a prescription for my daughter’s allergy — without discovering that she was allergic to apple juice even while she was drinking a glass of apple juice every day,” Eunice explained.
Reading up on herbal values and researching the subject led her to discover “the best way to infuse your body with fresh herbs, flowers, seeds and spices as a way of keeping healthy and fit.”
Meanwhile, daily book sales begin on a Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., schedule, and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturdays with a basic system that gives a buyer credit for any book turned in toward the purchase of one from stock.
“We expect we’ll have Sunday hours in March but we wanted to get acclimated to the business during February,” Eunice advised.
For details, call 786-250-8722 (Tea ’n Sanity) or 786-462-4341 (Book Exchange), or visit www.tea-nsanity.com.