History of The Mad Hatter
The Mad Hatter Tea Room began in 1999 in the Historic Anoka Post Office building as My Mom’s Attic by best friends Liz Koch and Amy Bukkila, two single mothers who wanted to give women a beautiful place to take time for themselves. There was a special magic that happened from the day the doors opened, where customers became friends and regular guests.
Two of their favorite guests were Linda and Andrea Pomeroy, a mother and daughter who loved to come sip tea after long days in the corporate world. After only a few short years Amy decided to move out of town and Liz was not able to continue on without her friend and business partner. It was with great sadness that they decided to sell their little gem. As luck would have it, Linda and Andrea always wanted to own a tea room and began their journey as the new owners in 2002. Linda and Andrea updated the name to ‘The Mad Hatter’, and the tea room continued to grow into a flourishing business and much loved retreat from life’s stresses.
Unfortunately, God had a plan that we do not understand. He took his Angel Andrea home on October 28, 2010. As you can imagine, Linda did not wish to continue with The Mad Hatter without her precious daughter and business partner Andrea. Liz returned to offer her support and help Linda during the weeks that followed, thus becoming the owner of The Mad Hatter once again.
Today, Liz and her husband Tim Koch are blessed to be serving The Mad Hatter’s wonderful guests in Anoka’s historic Woodbury House.
History of The Woodbury House
In 2014, The Mad Hatter relocated to the Historic Woodbury House on the Rum River in Anoka, Minnesota. The Woodbury House is the 2nd oldest house in Anoka County, and filled with a rich history! The house was built in 1857 by New York doctor Samuel Shaw, and was sold shortly after to The Woodbury Family transplanting from Massachusetts in 1860. In the Woodbury’s possession, the house became a beacon of social events in the burgeoning Anoka, leaving a large impression on the Woodbury’s youngest daughter, Mary Woodbury. Mary wrote extensively in her journals about the joys of growing up in the home and surrounding property along the riverfront.
The Woodbury’s home was not immune to the tragedies at the time, however. During the Dakota-Indian War in 1862, the Woodbury’s opened their home as a safe haven to injured soldiers, where they housed around 20 men seeking care and relief during that time.
Mary Woodbury became the lady of the house after her parents passed. She married, had children and raised her family in the home she too grew up in. The Woodbury Home remained the destination for socializing in Anoka well into the 1900’s.
The house went through several renovations and changed many hands during the middle part of the 20th century, becoming less of a social destination, and settling into a family home for various Anoka families.
In the 1980’s, John and Jill Weaver of Anoka purchased the house and brought a sense of community back to the Woodbury house, opening its doors to many social functions and meetings for clubs and organizations in Anoka. In 1994, the Weaver’s even had a surprise guest in the form of famous Anokian Garrison Keillor, asking to come in and take a look. Like many locals who grew up in the area, he had always been captivated by the home. The Weavers stayed in the Woodbury House until 2004 when John Weaver passed away. With all their children grown and moved out, Jill Weaver did not want to stay in the home alone.
In the mid-2000’s the Woodbury Home became a rental property and unfortunately fell into disrepair during these years. The City of Anoka purchased the home in 2012, unsure of what to do with the property, but certain they no longer wanted to see one of the grandest homes in the city neglected any further.
In 2013, The Mad Hatter Restaurant & Tea Room entered an agreement with the City of Anoka to occupy and rehabilitate the house. The work required to bring the house back to life was extensive, but with the hard work and dedication from the City of Anoka and Tim & Liz Koch, The Woodbury House is one of Anoka’s great gathering places once again.
The Mad Hatter & The Woodbury House, Today
With The Mad Hatter’s grand reopening in 2014, Tim & Liz Koch are blessed to be serving guests from near and far. Enjoy The Mad Hatter’s whimsical daily Brunch Menu or scrumptious Tea Service in the elegant white house while you overlook 150 years of history! "Come as our guest, leave as our family."