If you live in Tyler, Texas more than likely, you have been to The Potpourri House. It is a Tyler staple and like the name suggests, offers a little bit of everything. Originally The Potpourri House was on Front Street in a 1904 Victorian home. The quaint space offered tea room service and curated antiques. After the location could no longer host the growing business, The Potpourri House enjoyed a second location on Broadway that included a full-scale restaurant. In its third incarnation, the Potpourri House is currently large enough to host events up to 300 people. I chatted with Event Coordinator, Anthony Cortez who started as a server over 11 years ago.
Anthony was born and raised in Tyler, TX. His specialty is organizing private parties for birthdays, weddings, retirement celebrations, baby showers, sorority gatherings and nearly any special occasion you can come up with. He takes pride in his job and is truly invested in the success of your event, which was evident when he described the lengths he and his team go to, ensuring you and your guests have nothing but happy memories from your time at The Potpourri House. When I asked Anthony the inevitable, how have you handled unforeseen circumstances when they threaten a happy outcome? He was quick to say his whole team comes together and they act more like a family than co-workers. A testament to the leadership at The Potpourri House. When the power went out during a particularly strong thunderstorm, the staff came together with flashlights, lighting up the dance floor so guests could continue to enjoy their evening festivities.
In addition to private parties and catering, The Potpourri House hosts tour buses coming through Tyler to experience the flowers every Spring. Holiday get togethers and other private events book up quickly so Anthony urges you to get in touch and book your date well in advance. With an emphasis on great quality food, I had to know what the most popular menu items are. While a seasonal holiday menu may offer additional, traditional dishes you can always rely on community favorites like Heavenly Chicken Salad. Their homemade pimento cheese is another crowd pleaser and Anthony recommends the Chicken Lou Al, stating he could eat it every day. Well known for their outstanding soup, salad and baked potato bar customers can enjoy 14 different salads, fruit, fresh soups like portobello mushroom accompanied by freshly baked bread in house.
The restaurant is only one component of The Potpourri House, the other being the large scale retail operation specializing in boutique items and Texas crafted goods. Carol Ellsworth is the matriarch of the family and acts as the buyer for the retail arm of The Potpourri House. One of her favorite lines, Simon Sebbag Jewelry is a focal point along with Pandora Jewelry. There is also a variety of clothing, accessories, gifts and decor plus seasonal items. Should you want to support retail lines specifically made in Texas, you can find the Tyler Candle Company, Simplified Soap – a South Texas based goat milk soap company making quality bath products and even sweets from Sweet Shop USA, out of Palestine, TX. which is one of the largest handmade chocolate manufacturers in the country.
Still family owned, The Potpourri House is run by Les Ellsworth, son of Les Sr. and Carol Ellsworth. With a staff of over 25, Anthony explained they are a tight knit group that appreciate Sunday’s off with their respective families. This family atmosphere lends itself to keeping staff longer than the average retail/restaurant establishment and Anthony confirmed they have a very low turn over. One of the things that specifically stood out to me are the charitable organizations The Potpourri House supports. They do this threefold. First, they work directly with Bethesda Health Clinic serving the citizens of Tyler, TX. Their mission is to provide healthcare to the working and uninsured. With their state of the art medical facility they are able to treat a number of conditions, thus taking some of the burden from local hospital’s emergency rooms. Mainly volunteer driven, this organization benefits from direct contributions from The Potpourri House. Second, their outreach program, L’ Arcada Camp in Barcelona, Spain is focused on spreading the gospel through family based camping experiences in the Pyrenees Mountains. Finally, The Potpourri House encourages you to donate to either one of their initiatives by matching and doubling the amount you donate in the form of a Potpourri House gift card for the non-profit you represent (up to $200 dollars). To learn more click here: https://www.potpourrihouse.com/giving/
Next time you find yourself in Tyler, TX take some time to wander around the retail section of The Potpourri House, it’s open 10 am – 6 pm Monday-Saturday. Stay for lunch, served Monday – Saturday from 10:30 am – 3 pm. There are so many delicious menu items to choose from, or take it from Anthony, you can’t go wrong with the Chicken Lou Al.
The Potpourri House
3320 Troup Hwy Suite 300
Tyler, TX. 75701