Red Lodge Books has been Carbon County, Montana's (very) independent bookstore since 1986. The current owners, Gary & Kathy Robson, have owned it since 2001. They began offering gourmet loose tea in tins in early 2009, and opened up the full tea bar in May of 2011. The full story of the inception of the tea bar is told in the article "Why a tea bar?" on the "Tea with Gary" blog.
Currently, in addition to over 100 loose teas served in bulk, the Tea Bar at Red Lodge Books serves hot and iced tea, as well as tea lattes and boba tea. The store offers a variety of teaware and accessories, ranging from teapots to maté gourds and matcha whisks.
Gary — a tea lover his whole life — is a writer and accessibility technology consultant who has written 23 books and hundreds articles for magazines, encyclopedias, newspapers, and Web sites. All of his in-print books are available here at Red Lodge Books (of course). He has served on the boards of a number of area nonprofits, including the Red Lodge Festival of Nations, Red Lodge Area Chamber of Commerce, Beartooth Elks Lodge #534, and the Beartooth Nature Center. Whenever there's a Scottish event going on in town, Gary is always involved and often the emcee.
Kathy performs realtime television closed captioning for deaf and hard-of-hearing people. She can write at over 250 words per minute on her special shorthand machine with better than 99% accuracy. If you turn on the captioning on your television, you'll see her mostly on baseball, football, and rodeo, but also on a variety of other sports, news, and talk shows. She chaired the Belfry, Montana school board, and is currently on the Beartooth Nature Center Board of Directors. She is also active with the Downtown Merchants Association.