The Tuck Box was constructed by designer-builder Hugh Comstock in 1927, either as his office or in response to his wife's hobby of making "Otsy-Totsy" dolls. It was first used as a restaurant in the early 1930's and was named "Sally's". The building just to the rear was also built by Comstock in 1929 and was used as a garden shop, and much later as The Tuck Box Gift Shop. The kiosk next to the patio gate was added in 1931.
In the early 1940's, two sisters from England started the small tea room which they named The Tuck Box. After operating the restaurant for eight years, Mrs. Bumbridge and Mrs. Watson, sold to another British couple, John and Elsie Grandfield. Elsie's delicious recipes have had the greatest and most lasting impact on The Tuck Box. Many are still in use today.
In 1948, the Grandfields hired young Lucille Pinkston who eventually bought the restaurant in 1960. By 1964, Lucille had become Mrs. Glenn Berry and the couple also bought the property. In 1976, Glenn and Lucille sold the property and business to another long-time employee, Aleen Hillbun and her husband Harvey, thus ending Lucille's twenty-six years of association with and devotion to The Tuck Box English Tea Room.
Many members of the Hillbun family helped in the restaurant and the neighboring gift shop in the ensuing years. After her husband, Harvey, passed away in 1987, Aleen withdrew from the business. Her sister, Phyllis Yelusich, saved the day and took over full management of the restaurant. The Tuck Box Gift Shop continued to survive until it was closed in November, 1996. Today, the delicious preserves, scone mix, whole grain cereal, tea and other items are available for purchase at The Tuck Box or by mail order.
On Thanksgiving Day, November 28,1996, ownership of both the property and The Tuck Box English Tea Room was assumed by Zigmont J. LeTowt and his wife, Dianne. Jody (known by his middle name) and Dianne have been residents of Carmel since the early 1960's. They owned and operated Le Bistro…from 1969 until May, 1997. Sadly, Dianne passed away in May, 2002. In late 2003, their older son Jeffrey assumed operation of the Tuck Box. Jeff was born and raised in Carmel. He graduated from Colorado State University in 1993 with a degree in resort management. He will strive to maintain the esprit that has made The Tuck Box a Carmel tradition for over sixty years.