by Erica Eades
Ask Pat and Frank Vetter about the key to running a successful bed and breakfast and they’ll likely respond in one of two ways: a) you have to like people; and b) you have to like mornings.
As owners and sole operators of Menzies House 1850 (conveniently located along the Mississippi River at 80 Queen St.), the couple has seen their fair share of both over the years. But the Vetters don’t let the non-stop hustle and bustle of guests wear them down. No, for this dynamic duo, it’s the people that make their job worthwhile.
“Everyone is so friendly,” says Frank, a former high school counsellor, as he sips his freshly brewed coffee from the comfort of their quaint backyard gazebo.
Built in 1850, Menzies House is one of the oldest buildings in Almonte. Once the home of John Menzies, a merchant and former registrar of North Lanark County, the site is now one of a handful of designated heritage homes in the area.
Pat and Frank have owned the property for nearly 44 years, and they are dedicated to keeping the home’s rich history alive and well.
Of course, there’s also that breathtaking view of the river. Situated on 250 feet of waterfront property, the B&B offers a plethora of patio chairs, outdoor dining areas and a saltwater swimming pool. And, with their close proximity to downtown, Pat and Frank can easily direct guests to the many local shops, restaurants and galleries that Almonte has to offer. For the Vetters, that’s really what this business is all about—meeting new people and sharing with them the subtle charms of life in small-town Ontario: