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Tracy Frank, Published August 21 2012

Moorhead woman lives life full of passions, hobbies

MOORHEAD – Loretta Wickie is a woman of many talents.

The Moorhead woman has designed patterns, written cookbooks, worked as a security consultant, taught classes on staying organized, done bookkeeping for area businesses and worked as a chiropractic assistant.

But that’s not all.

Wickie is also a retired Air National Guard member, where she worked in security police, and she is currently starting a traveling tea party business.

“To me, doing the same thing all the time is like having chicken every day,” she said.

Growing up, her dad told her she could do anything she wanted, and Wickie took that advice to heart.

She was born in Texas and moved to Alaska during junior high. While there, she worked at JC Penney, and after catching a couple of shoplifters, a security officer encouraged her to go into the security field.

Wickie, who is a breast cancer survivor of 17 years, is married with two step-daughters and two grandsons.

After moving to the Fargo area in the 1970s, she joined the Air National Guard, where she worked until retirement 12 years ago, she said.

“The Air Guard is very adventuresome,” she said, adding that she formed very close friendships and had opportunities for education and to see the world through the Guard.

Wickie also has a creative streak, and she used her love of crafts to come up with several patterns for making dolls. She sold her patterns in local stores and craft magazines.

She compiled recipes from her friends and family for her cookbook, “Best Lil’ Tex-Mex Cookbook,” which she used to sell locally at Jimenez Tortilla Factory and at festivals in Texas.

Her second cookbook, “We’re Talking Potatoes!!,” is filled with various potato recipes from soups and potato salad to casseroles and flapjacks.

She wrote it because she “had all these potato recipes,” she said. She’s sold the book at Barnesville’s Potato Days festival and said it makes a great stocking stuffer.

Because of how busy she was working full time, being in the Guard, and doing all of her side projects, someone suggested she teach a course on staying organized, so she did.

Wickie has taught an organizational course called, “Work Smarter, Not Harder,” for Moorhead Community Education, where she offers tips and tricks for staying organized.

Now, Wickie is starting a traveling tea party business called The Golden Spoon Traveling Tea Room, in which she will plan tea parties in people’s homes or other venues.

“I have had tea parties from the time I was 4 years old, and my mom said I might as well do what I enjoy,” she said.

Wickie said the tea parties, which typically last 90 minutes to two hours, are like mini vacations free from cell phones and other electronic distractions.

“In our electronic age, people have forgotten about the gentile things,” she said.

Wickie took a course on professional tea party hosting from Susan Asher of Illinois.

“Her training manual was a good guideline for me to jumpstart my dream,” Wickie said.

The parties will be complete with table cloths, napkins, china, centerpieces and of course, tea and treats.

Wickie said the tea party industry is growing, and a lot of businesses are using tea events to close deals because they’re quieter, less interruptive and less expensive than dinners.

She is negotiating for a location to hold a daily Tea Lunch that is open to the public. The Golden Spoon will start taking bookings for tea parties in October.

Wickie plans to showcase some of her table settings at an Open House at Rustic Oaks in Moorhead from 4 to 8 tonight.

Business profile

What: The Golden Spoon Traveling Tea Room

Ownership: Loretta Wickie

Contact: 701-219-4267, goldenspoontearoom@aol.com

If you go

What: A Rustic-Inspired Open House, featuring The Golden Spoon Traveling Tea Room and other local vendors

When: 4 to 8 p.m. today

Where: Rustic Oaks, 12155 3rd St. S., Moorhead

Info: Event is free.

Contact: (218) 343-0347

Online: www.rusticoaks.net


Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526