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Expert jeweller finds perfect setting in Tweed

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After owning and operating a jewellery store in the city for 35 years, husband and wife team, Roger and Susan Labrash were ready to slow down and take time to smell the proverbial roses. They weren’t quite ready for retirement, but yearned for a slower and more enjoyable pace, in a great locale. After considering all their options, they ended up joining a growing trend: they left the city and moved to a small town in Eastern Ontario. Now, they live in a beautiful waterfront home on Stoco lake, and run the Stoco Jewellery Studio, just five minutes away, in the idyllic little town of Tweed.

“We just love it here,” says Susan, as she describes their first few months of business in Tweed. Stoco Jewellery Studio opened about three years ago and is already enjoying a loyal clientele.

“Everyone is so friendly. During the first few weeks, several people came into the shop just to say hi, introduce themselves and welcome us. It really made us feel at home.”

Located in the middle of Hastings County, Tweed is a small town with a lot of charm and culture. The local arts and theatre scenes have been getting tons of attention over the past few years, and the County’s first winery, Potter Settlement, recently won several awards for its heritage varietals. The downtown area provides a lovely pedestrian experience with unique independent shops, cafes, galleries and restaurants.

“I’d like to see a few more clothing stores, but other than that, I can find anything I need or want right here in Tweed,” says Susan.

Facade of a buildling on main street in Tweed - Stoco Jewellery Studio

Her husband Roger is an accomplished goldsmith, who is enjoying having more time to connect with his customers individually, and take on unique custom and repair projects.

“Our other store was much bigger, with staff. We had to pass on little craft jobs,” he explains. “But I get to do them here, and it makes such a big difference to people. Old pieces of jewellery that might not even be worth a lot, but have tremendous sentimental value. I really enjoy being able to do that for people.”

The couple report that the biggest change since they relocated to Tweed is in their quality of life. They have given up commuting, traffic, and pollution, and now enjoy lakeside living, a friendly community, and a more manageable pace of life.

Every day, Roger goes home for lunch, walks the dog, and then comes back to the studio to work on custom jobs. His workshop above the showroom is a jeweller’s dream, with all kinds of custom tools and equipment including a high-tech engraving machine. He is completely in his element.

“We were actually able to invest in some incredible new equipment with help from the Central Hastings Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC),” says Roger. “There are so many great services and supports in Hastings County. It means I’ve been able to bring a lot of services to the area that just weren’t available before. And I’m very, very happy to be able to do that. We feel needed and appreciated here.”

Roger says he feels grateful all the time that he and Susan decided to take a leap of faith and leave the city.

“I have extended family here in Hastings County, and I’d been visiting every summer for years and years. Susan and I would come up in the summers to visit, and we would always go back to the city thinking, jeez, it’s so beautiful there.”

With the help of a local realtor, Roger and Susan found the perfect home, and began the process of selling their home and business in the city and moving to Tweed.

“It was a scary move,” admits Roger. “We didn’t know how we’d be received. We were moving from a city to this little village. So I was unsure at first. But I’m not unsure now. It was an excellent move. We’re very happy here.”

“I don’t know why more people don’t do it,” agrees Susan. “We love it here.”

 

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Quinn's of Tweed

345 Victoria St. North Tweed, Ontario K0K 3J0

Visitors often ask about the building and it’s name, Quinn’s of Tweed. In fact, tradition dictates that we keep, with honour,  the name Quinn’s of Tweed, the original name of the store and building. The Quinn’s of Tweed building is one of the town’s oldest and most beautiful historic stone structures, dating back to the 1880s. The twelve foot walls allow us to hang paintings in the traditional French salon style. You’ll marvel at the craftmanship of the ash and maple staircase, the old bookeeper’s office, and the stained glass that brings one back to an era when a handshake and promise were as good as gold – today, we still believe in those principles.

gaylord hardwood flooring

228 Victoria St N, Tweed, ON K0K 3J0

Charles Frederick McGowan sold the lot in 1907 to William James Lawrence for $600.00. Shortly thereafter Mr. Lawrence erected the building which still stands there today. He conducted a furniture business until 1912, when he sold the property to the Traders’ Bank of Canada, which within the year, was taken over by the Royal Bank of Canada. It operated out of the building until 1942, when the war forced consolidations and closures due to a lack of tellers (men). The property changed hands a couple more times before local Tweed family, Gaylord Forest Products secured the property in 2003. Since then, they have evolved every inch of the interior into an experience. Each room throughout the building is a real life ‘showroom’ from top to bottom; you simply have to see it to believe it. The stairwell in particular holds a lot of history!

Marmora and Lake Inn

Come as strangers. Leave as friends.

29 Bursthall St, Marmora, ON K0K 2M0

Experience the charm of our 1906 mansion, nestled in the village of Marmora, Ontario, an historic town celebrating 200 years in 2021. The large and stately home was built by Ed Shannon for lumber baron Henry Reginald Pearce (known as “Reginald”) and his family, who purchased the lot for $200. It remained a private family dwelling for many decades and eventually was converted to a Bed and Breakfast by Chris and Lilly Boldly.

It now operates as Marmora And Lake Inn B&B and boasts beautiful, spacious bedrooms with quaint old-world craftsmanship for a luxurious stay. Onsite amenities include an exceptional indoor swimming pool, bubbler tub, infrared sauna, large screen SMART TV’s in each room, wireless internet access throughout, and generous sized gathering rooms. And being a small town, the pool is open to the community and friends for a nominal fee (pre-booking is required).

Our guests enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast including locally baked breads and pastries, yogurt and fresh fruit, an extensive beverage and tea/coffee bar featuring a wide variety of flavours and blends. Great outdoor patio area for fair-weather relaxation and large private events.

Whether planning a romantic weekend for two, a small wedding, a family reunion or a week-long visit to bask in the natural beauty of the region, the Marmora And Lake Inn B&B will help make it a time to remember. (Please note that all bedrooms are on the upper levels and we don’t yet have accessibility assist.)