On Saturday, Nov. 25, Telkwa’s historic Interior Creamery will be reopening its doors and making its debut as the Inn at the Creamery.
The historic building, located at 1655 Riverside Street, will now serve as an Inn to visitors of Telkwa.
The inn will be hosting an open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Coffee and drinks will be served and attendees will be given discounts at the Inn.
Christine Bernie and Alfie King bought the landmark in January of 2015.
“I always thought it would be kind of interesting to have a place that would be a vibrant place in the community,” Bernie said.
The creamery was built as a subsidiary of the Prince George Creamery in 1939 by Alfred Miller. At its peak there were 235 shippers of cream from the Lakes District to Hazelton. Butter was shipped by rail east to Vanderhoof and west to Prince Rupert. The creamery eventually closed in 1969.
Bernie says when she originally moved to Telkwa in 1977. She lived down the street from the creamery and at the time it was a private residence. Eventually it became a fishing lodge before it was bought by Bernie and King.
“It’s a part of the historic core of Telkwa,” Bernie said. “This is just one of the links back to the older village.”
Of course, restoring such an old building comes with its own set of challenges.
In addition to ventilation issues, Bernie said inspecting the Inn actually fell out of the local building inspector’s job description so they had to hire an engineer to make sure the building was structurally sound.
“You never do a renovation without discovering it’s 10 times more complicated than you thought it was going to be,” Bernie said.
Being a recipient of Telkwa’s facade improvement program helped offset some of the costs. The program reimburses business owners making exterior improvements to their buildings in the village’s downtown area. This includes improvements to signage, murals, architectural features and accessibility.
Business owners engaging in at least $10,000 in renovations are eligible for a reimbursement of up to $5,000. The money for the grant comes from the Northern Development Initiative Trust.
The Village must first apply to the Northern Development Trust in order to secure funding and once it’s secure, funding applications are open to Telkwa businesses.
Bernie said they were reimbursed $5,000.
“With the facade improvement program we’re supporting businesses that have the goal to improve the character of Telkwa,” Megan Peloso, Village of Telkwa grant writer, said. “The creamery is just a great example of [that].”
Reel Coffee and the Wooly Ewe will be operating alongside the Inn. They’ll start taking reservations in December and prices range from $85-125.
For more information visit The Telkwa Creamery Facebook page.