Tonawanda News — For about three years in a small spot of Main Street in the City of Tonawanda, a tiny tea shop with the simple name of “Simply Sue’s” brought in customers and friends with its food, activities, music and, of course, tea.
Now, shop owner Sue Potter has brought stories from the shop’s existence — and tales from her own personal journey — to print with “A Girl Like Me,” published by Balboa Press recently.
“When I had my shop, I would write stories and put them on the tables for people to read. I took those stories and wrote around them for the book,” Potter said during a recent interview at her apartment, surrounded by boxes of books and pieces of her art, over (of course) a cup of tea. “My main objective in this is to share what I’ve been given: Trust, faith, the ability to step out of my comfort zone.”
Her life has been a series of steps in that direction, a process reflected in the book’s three sections, starting with “frazzled” family life through her discovery of Al-Anon, the effects of the disease of alcoholism on her family, work experience and issues therein. Her gratitude to Al-Anon — and her thanks to her “friends with no last names” — is a thread throughout the book.
Some of the stories are very personal, and Potter admitted that she’s a little nervous about sharing them. But she hopes it will help others find hope for themselves.
“It’s got it all — the good, the bad and the ugly,” she said. “It’s been quite a journey from there to here.”
Her tea shop got its start after she left her job of 10 years at a medical records business, wanting something more.
With many childhood memories of Main Street, she started watching some of the storefronts for rent in the area ... and dreaming.