It's sort of hidden on East Main Street between bigger buildings. An old house in Belleville that Bonnie Dickinson and her husband, Bill saw potential in.

"Well, he had knee surgery and we drove by here and he said Bonnie I think it's time."

You see, for more than 20 years this mother of three, grandma of four dreamed of opening a tea room.

"Every time I would start something would happen," she explains.

She was disappointed, but never discouraged.

"I've had the stuff in storage," she points out.

And finally at a point in life when most people her age retire she opened the Vintage Tea Room and customers are scooping it up

She's had plenty of practice, she often made treats for her and Bill's clients. She's an accountant, he's a CPA.

"One client came in last week, he's an architect, and he came in and he says Bonnie you always have scones for me when I come in for my taxes and now I have to buy them? I said nah I'll give you a scone."

She's obviously having a good time, but it's been a bit of a learning experience.

"I'm learning that we all need to lose weight to be in that kitchen. I mean that kitchen in small!"

It's just enough space to make her delicious soups, salads and sandwiches. She has, however, had to modify a few family favorites like the French Silk Pie.

"I changed it because the French Silk has a macadamia nut crust and macadamia nuts are like 15 dollars for a small so I just make a graham cracker crust."

Once an accountant, always an accountant. The more surprising thing about Bonnie is she hasn't always been a cook.

"When we got married she knew how to cook one thing tuna casserole. That's the only thing she really only knew how to cook," Bill says.

She taught herself and has gotten pretty darn good just look at how clean the plates are as they come back into the kitchen. So stop by the Vintage Tea Room for a delicious bite and a bit of inspiration served up by a woman who never gave up on her dream.

The Vintage Tea Room is at 316 East Main Street in Belleville. It's open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 to 3. You can reach the restaurant by calling 618-825-9088.

You can look over the menu at