Carefree tea room owner appreciates relationship with National Bank of Arizona
By Debra Gelbart
British businesswoman Jo Gemmill opened the English Rose Tea Room in Carefree 12 years ago to provide Afternoon Tea to discerning tea lovers. Since then, the business has grown substantially and has become a destination for local residents and visitors. Until last year, Gemmill operated a gift shop as part of the Tea Room, but wanted to expand the concept of offering her customers home décor items that reflect British living.
In October 2012, she opened a second business, Jo London, a home furnishings and interior design business. She credits National Bank of Arizona with helping to launch her new successful venture.
How has National Bank of Arizona helped you?
I wanted to open a completely separate home décor business to focus on a range of British experiences to share with my customers, not just the Tea Room experience. Because I have such a good relationship with the bank, that’s one of the first places I went to see how we could create a platform to open a new business.
What do you value most about your partnership with NB|AZ?
A. When you go in to the bank, they all know your name. It’s like the local pub without the alcohol. They run the bank like a retail environment, not like a financial services institution. I’m responsible for several different nonprofit activities, including the Carefree Christmas Festival, and the bank partners with us for that, too.
What sets NB|AZ apart from other banks?
When another bank issued me a credit card with my husband’s photograph on it, I wanted to find a bank with more personal service. NB|AZ is run like an independent family business even though it’s a national bank. That personal relationship keeps me there.
What would you say to other business owners about doing business with National Bank of Arizona?
The bankers treat you as if they were in your shoes. They genuinely want you to succeed.