Open for business
Keels’ one-stop shop now has a tea room
People in Keels and surrounding communities already come to the Hubert and James Mesh
Store for their groceries, household supplies, knickknacks and mail.
Now, they can stay for a cuppa’ tea as well.
Maudie’s Tea Room— named for the film ‘Maudie’, based on the life of folk artist Maud Lewis, which was partially filmed in Keels and the general store— opened its doors Nov. 16.
“It’s a place for people to come in and socialize. On this part of the peninsula, there is no place like that, especially during this time of year.”
- Selby Mesh
“We’ve had an excellent response from locals. Everybody seems to be quite satisfied with the product we got,” said owner Selby Mesh, who inherited the store from his father in 1980. “It’s a place for people to come in and socialize. On this part of the peninsula, there is no place like that, especially during this time of year.”
But opening the tea room didn’t come easily.
Mesh ran into concerns with the installation of a sewer system. The store sits on a rocky hill overlooking the ocean.
And while this means patrons can enjoy a beautiful ocean-side view from the tea room, it also created concern over where he might put in the septic tank and distribution field ServiceNL required for him to open his business.
Mesh says he proposed other options, including installing a holding tank that could be pumped out at the end of the season, a septic tank with a line to the ocean, (which Mesh says is just 200 feet away from the store) or even an incinerating toilet (a waterless toilet that burns waste).
Eventually, Mesh says he installed the system approved by ServiceNL this past summer— at a cost of about $15,000.
Mesh says work such as this is not only costly, but difficult
“It’s difficult for anyone trying to get into it,” he said. “Especially in remote areas like where we are, with the kind of terrain we have.”
But he says that entrepreneurs looking to start a business or expand needn’t be downhearted or pessimistic.
“If you really want to do it, go for it. Be persistent,” he encouraged.
He also thanked friends and the community for their support.
The Hubert and James Mesh store first opened in 1954, and the current store building has been in use since 1967.
Selby Mesh recently opened Maudie’s Tea Room in Keels.
Local artists are already selling their work in the tea room.
The Hubert and James Mesh Store in Keels.