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Turtlehead dreamers emerge from shell

Tamara and Jan Miller have been held together for years by the bonds of the mother-daughter relationship, but also by the bonds of sharing the same dream.

The dream came to fruition Tuesday, Dec. 5, when Turtleheads Tea and Coffee Company opened its doors at 11130 Kingston Pike, Suite 2, in the Farragut Pointe shopping center.

“This is really exciting for us,” said Tamara Miller, who partnered with her mother, Jan, to create their dream. “We’ve dreamed of this for twelve years, and now it’s finally here.”

Tamara said her husband, Thomas Kain, is involved a little bit with the business.

The business offers more than 65 varieties of teas and 23 flavors of organic coffee to choose from. Tamara said they offer tea and coffee accessories, such as tea pots, scoops, mugs and a host of other items.

Patrons can choose from a variety of other organic products, like Flower Peddler soap and herbal bath teas, oat milk lotion, Daboba organic chocolate and many other items.

Tamara said Turtleheads also markets items from third-world artisans through a program with the National Geographic Association.

“Part of the philosophy of the store was to market other artisans and give them an opportunity to show their products they might not otherwise have,” she said.

She said 20 percent of a sale from three particular tea products goes to Weimaraner Rescue, a project close to her heart. Weimaraners are a German breed of hunting dogs having a smooth silver-gray to dark-gray coat, a cropped tail and blue-gray or amber eyes.

So how did the business develop and get its name?

“Mom and I were sitting in a coffee shop in Seattle one day and began playing a game, saying what we would do if this were our shop,” Tamara said. “We sketched out our idea on the back of a napkin, including a design for our turtle logo, Iam D. Turtlehead. Amber Kearne, a graphic artist, improved our drawing and did the four-turtle logo for us.”

Tamara said turtlehead is a family nickname given to her mother, Jan.

“We started out just as tea because mom loved tea and I became a big tea drinker in college,” Tamara said. “My husband was more of a coffee drinker, but I never really cared for the


She said she came across the Sweetwater brand of organic flavored coffee and really enjoyed it due to a less bitter taste and it didn’t make her feel as frazzled as coffee.

“So Turtlehead Tea then became Turtlehead Tea and Coffee Company,” she said.


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