In my nearly eight years of doing food blogging, I've been blessed to have met some wonderful people. That includes notable chefs, sommeliers, proprietors, restaurant and hotel managers, servers, publicists and public relations professionals. I've also met a lot of writers, photographers, bloggers, authors and Instafamous individuals. Most of them I have met at foodie events, dinners, cocktail parties or other places, but I've also met a lot of people online that I don't know in real life. 

I've met some in Facebook groups, Twitter chats, Instagram pods and other ways. And sometimes you just click with these people even though you have never met them face to face. One would be a lady named Nina who I knew through Instagram and we also knew a number of mutual people through different markets and businesses they run. Nina's Instagram page is Strawberry Road. She does vintage markets and recently opened an online store. It turns out we live very close to each other and one day in commenting on one another's posts we decided to get together and have lunch.

As soon as we started our conversation it really felt like we'd know each other for a long time and were old friends. We're both moms of boys and we chatted about parenting little men, Cub Scout outings and nurturing these little personalities. We also talked about local food and other businesses and she's such a sweet uplifting person. We got together again for lunch a couple weeks ago and tried out a place neither of us had tried before called Civilitea.

My friend, Pat, had told me about Civilitea a couple years ago and I'd had it on my list for a long time. I love tea and so I really wanted to make a visit for some tea and see what was on their menu. Nina happened to be stocking her corner at LouLou Belle, a gift shop in Homewood and Civilitea was just a few doors down, so we planned a date.

It's a cute place in a corner building where much of the menu is vegetarian, but there are a few meaty sandwiches, as well. Nina tried a chicken salad wrap and I got an egg salad sandwich. And we each had iced tea. It's a chill place where I would love to go spend some time working one day - lingering with my iPad and sipping on some refreshing berry tea.

The place aims to provide healthy food and minimize waste by composting food scraps and using only recyclable to-go containers.

I love downtown Homewood and this is just one of several quaint businesses in the area that is just a couple blocks away from the Metra station. For more info, visit

Civilitea Gardens
2025 Ridge Road
Homewood, IL