Manners matter in Kate Thompson's latest business venture.
The gourmet cupcake aficionado and owner of Cupkates by Kate recently expanded her mini (cupcake) empire with the addition of "Tea Parties to You." Thompson offers a high-end tea party service to boys and girls v alleywide but adds an etiquette bent.
The two-hour parties include a three-course tea party with all the wares and food provided by Thompson's team. The only thing the family needs to offer is the dining room table.
"It's an alternative, fun, funky birthday party for young girls and boys that teaches them table manners and all that fun stuff but in a fun way," Thompson said.
Thompson helped host tea parties for a former child boutique and said she knew the idea was still appealing. Aside from the party draw, Thompson said the mini soirees may help usher in a new era of etiquette.
"There are more people in my generation that don't have manners than do have manners," she said. "I really think it's important we start kids young."
Thompson said her upbringing with a Southern-born and -raised father meant manners mattered.
Play dates as a youngster were her first introduction to different customs.
"(My friends') parents were so surprised I would ask, 'May I be excused?' and I wouldn't eat until we said our prayers and all of us had our food in front of us," she said.
Thompson's team laces in etiquette reminders during party play. Ladies first during the primp and dress-up time. Elbows off the table during the three courses -- mini pickles and cheese shapes, mini sandwiches and then Thompson's signature mini cupcakes -- and tea and lemonade. Napkins on laps. 'May I?' and 'Please?' are power questions. No munching until the birthday kid is served.
Thompson provides linens , mismatched china and all the food. Cleanup is in the party crew's hands, too.
"The thing that's so great when we're packing up and leaving, the kids always say, 'Can you come back and play with us?' " Thompson said.
Ingrid Sanchez hosted a tea party for about 17 kids and her 9-year-old daughter. The bunch was giddy but enthralled by what she considers a fun past time, she said.
"I like drinking tea and the ritual of having the tea cup and playing pretend when you're a kid," she said. "It's fun, different, reminiscent."
She, a counselor, said it's important to instill table manners in kids during an age when many families bypass meal time togetherness.
"We've kind of lost those things," she said. "It's nice to throw out there that there are these kind of customs and traditions."
Thompson said the events usually stretch about two hours.
The fee is $199 for two hours for seven to 15 children and $20 per child above that.
For more information, visit cupkateslv.com/.
Contact Centennial and North Las Vegas View reporter Maggie Lillis at email@example.com or 477-3839.