Dr. Bombay’s funds education in India


Dean Barry

Dr. Bombay’s tea house in Candler Park displays pictures of women who graduated college with the help of the Learning Tea, a project the tea house helps fund.

Residents of Candler Park know where to go for a peaceful sanctuary. Amidst the bustling life of Atlantans, there is a haven of tea, ice cream and sweet treats. Anyone from a sweet-toothed child, a student looking for a quiet place to study or a repose-seeking adult can be found here.

Dr. Bombay’s is a tea house nestled in Candler Park. Founded in 2005, it sells a large variety of teas, food, books and more. That’s not all: it has funded the Learning Tea, a project that helps women in India go to college, since 2010.

“It’s unlike anywhere else in the city,” said Dr. Bombay’s co-owner, Nick Parsons, also known as “English Nick” at his job as a radio DJ. “It ticks over nicely. We get pleasant people and we do good across the world. Drinking tea is a good place to be in the afternoon.”

Before Parsons purchased the building, it was a coffee shop; he bought the building when it was placed on sale.

“It was already a coffee shop that served ice cream,” Parsons said. “There was no adult furniture, just places for kids to sit. It was just for people to come and get stuff to-go. We bought this side and then we went through the wall, and it became what it is today.”

Most radio DJs don’t own tea houses, and most tea houses don’t support and help fund education in a country halfway around the world. However, Parson and Dr. Bombay’s co-owner Katrell Christie started something new.

“The Learning Tea was inspired by a trip when my business partner Katrell Christie went to India with the Rotary Club,” Parsons said. “They were doing a women’s empowerment program at a school. She knew she wanted to get up to the Darjeeling tea region, to see what was going on, and see what kind of tea we could sell to give a hundred percent of the proceeds back to these impoverished women in India. And that’s how the Learning Tea was born.”

Now Dr. Bombay’s rents a house in Darjeeling and funds the schooling for the women who live there.

Besides this philanthropy, one of the most striking features of Dr. Bombay’s is its ambiance. Books line the wall and decorations hang from the ceiling, which customers say creates a general feeling of peace.

“The atmosphere is really cool in here,” customer Lulu Javelona said. “It’s one of those things where it’s a really cool place to be in, but you also kind of don’t want to disturb it because everyone’s always so quiet… quietly chatting and stuff.”

Customer Mustapha Ezzarghani was pleased with his first experience in the tea house.

“It’s [the atmosphere] really nice. I think that’s the most special thing about this place,” Ezzarghani said.

The tea house also hosts an eclectic spread of food, along with a three-course, vegetarian, Indian-style feast, the proceeds of which are donated to the Learning Tea.

“Since I was really little, we always got the ice cream from here, and that was really good, and the coffee cake,” Javelona said. “We always just thought of it as this really cool place. Sometimes I’ve gotten a couple of books.”

It seems that Dr. Bombay’s is a win for both the women in Darjeeling and the residents of Candler Park.

“It’s a wonderful place. It’s very special,” Ezzarghani said.