Laura Mathis, affectionately known as Mrs. Laura, commemorated her grand opening on Friday, January 20th, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by the Davie County Chamber of Commerce. More than 50 family members, friends, long-time customers, and local leaders were there to taste, tour, and celebrate the new venue located at 1832 Farmington Road.
“I’m here for ya’ll,” said Mrs. Laura, thanking guests for coming and for their support through the years. “This community and my customers have been so good to me. Thank you to my wonderful workers. I want to thank the Lord for giving me each of them. I didn’t ask for anybody and didn’t put out any applications, but God sent each one just when I needed them. It’s an honor to be here in the Johnson House. I wish Mr. Johnson could be here, but I know he is here in spirit. Preserving the Johnson House and opening it for you to enjoy is such an honor.”
Chamber President Caroline Moser, former Chamber Board Chair Keith Beck, and Mocksville Town Board representatives Johnny Frye and Carl Lambert welcomed Mrs. Laura and the Johnson House Bakery and Tea Room to Davie County.
“You have been a staple in this community, and we are so excited about what you are going to bring to this space,” said Moser.
Beck added, “Small business owners are the backbone of our community. I’ve eaten here and it is amazing.”
Frye continued, “Mrs. Laura has been selling baked goods in Davie County and beyond for many years. We are excited to celebrate her move to the Johnson House and the opportunities it holds for the future of her business, and we are thankful for her investment in Davie County.”
Lambert concluded, “Congratulations on your new business and for preserving the Johnson House. What a wonderful legacy for the family.”
The bakery features a variety of delicious homemade treats like breads, yeast rolls, cookies, scones, danish, muffins, and Mrs. Laura’s signature cinnamon rolls. Each is freshly baked with wholesome ingredients and free from preservatives, artificial colors, or flavors. Iced and hot teas and coffees, as well as made-to-order smoothies, are also available. She is adding a variety of grab-and-go breakfast items like fruit and yogurt cups with plans to continue expanding the menu.
Pick up some delectable goodies to go or head upstairs to the study to savor your purchase as you relax and browse through the vintage book collection. The study can be reserved as a private room for parties and gatherings (ideal for parties of up to 15 guests).
Step back to a simpler time. Enjoy a vintage tradition of finger sandwiches, pastries, and tea in the cozy tearoom. A variety of menu options are available. Reservations can be made Tuesday – Saturday at 11:30 a.m. or 1 p.m.
The Johnson House Bakery & Tea Room is a legacy of love several years in the making, that bloomed out of a special friendship between next-door neighbors. Mrs. Laura shared much of the story and her special relationship with General George Johnson and the Johnson family.
For many years, the Johnson House belonged to Vada Johnson, who grew up there and lived there until she married at the age of 80. She was a teacher at Farmington School for 50 years. She would frequently open her home for ladies’ meetings, traveling ministers, and even host a church social after the annual Christmas play. A guest at the ribbon cutting fondly recalled an Easter egg hunt under the boxwoods followed by hot chocolate.
When Mrs. Vada passed, she left the house to her nephew, Gen. Johnson, who was known in the community as a friendly, social man who enjoyed people, attending Sunday service at the Farmington Methodist Church and visiting local club meetings. Although born and raised in Georgia, he had fond memories of visiting his grandparents and other family members, including his cousins, George and Lester Martin, every summer and Christmas. Despite living in Florida in his later years, he maintained strong ties to Davie County and continued to return to Farmington several times a year.
Mrs. Laura and her family moved to Farmington in 2001 where she quickly became involved in the community, volunteering in efforts to preserve and grow the Farmington Community Center. She and Gen. Johnson got to know each other through their mutual love for preserving the community.
After serving as the Center’s executive director for nearly 13 years, she began building a business, Herbal Accents, which was a dream since 2003. She grew herbs and taught classes on how to grow, harvest, and use herbs. Tea parties were served, as a way to provide refreshments during her classes. Word got out about her tea parties and people started coming from out-of-town places like Salisbury, Greensboro, Raleigh, Pilot Mountain, Greenville, South Carolina, and beyond! She began a line of baked goods, “Mrs. Laura’s Rolls & Treats,” using herbs in her in-home bakery and was starting to outgrow her little kitchen.
Each year, Gen. Johnson would host family members and friends for a Saturday dinner, the night before their annual family reunion at Tanglewood Park. Mrs. Laura helped cater those events and shared her baked goods with the family who stayed at the house the following mornings.
It was decided while sitting around the Johnson kitchen table one morning, after an annual family reunion, that the Johnson House would be the perfect place for Mrs. Laura to expand her business when the time was right.
Following his passing in 2021, at the age of 103, it was decided by family members it was time to move forward with the plans that had been arranged by Mr. Johnson, his children, and Mrs. Laura.
Mrs. Laura too is a person of hospitality and education. In fact, she has been compared to Mrs. Vada by those who knew her. In opening the Johnson House Bakery & Tea Room, visitors can once again experience old-fashioned flavors of homemade baked goods, a hot cup of tea or coffee, and yes, warm hospitality. Mrs. Laura also continues her (and Mrs. Vada Johnson’s) love for education. You will frequently find her talking about the Johnson Family history and the connection the family has to George Wesley Johnson, founder of Farmington.
She continues to teach about herbs and started an educational garden, located behind the Johnson House. Working with the Davie Cooperative Extension, she designed the Vada Johnson Educational Garden, a community garden that is used by local 4-H clubs for educational classes and is open for the public to enjoy.
Mrs. Laura’s goals for this business are not for acquiring great wealth, but to provide a place to warmly serve those who visit. She hopes to create a place for old memories to be shared and new memories made for years to come.
The Johnson House Bakery & Tea Room is located at:
Phone: (336) 998-1315
Your tea includes finger sandwiches, pastries and tea. For questions or reservations, please call (336) 998-1315 or complete the reservation form online.
Tea Time is hosted Tuesday-Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.