Ken Meister, his wife Jenny, and their five children moved to Summerside four years ago and opened the Summerside Inn Bed & Breakfast, which is also their place of residence.
This year, they are expanding the business. In February, they purchased the Holman Homestead on Fitzroy Street in Summerside.
“Two years ago when the building went up for sale, we were very busy with the Summerside Inn B&B so the timing was not right,” says Ken. When no other buyers came forward and there was talk of demolishing it, their decision was made.
The home is in the process of being renovated. A geothermal heating and cooling system has already been installed.
They plan to create an old-fashioned ice cream parlour and soda shop on the first floor, along with a patio overlooking the gardens. They will also offer museum space.
Plans for the second floor include making two one-bedroom heritage suites, supplied with kitchen basics.
The back of the home has a full kitchen, where the cones, floats and sundaes will be made.
“We will start with a simple menu, and if there is a demand, we will take it from there,” says Ken. “We got great advice from local business owners to focus on our core first and expand from there. We also want to complement other businesses around us and not compete for the same customers.”
The business will be open from May until October. “We will need people to clean rooms, and do laundry, baking, serving, and gardening,” says Jenny. “We will be also be hiring our older children.”
“We will be hiring cleaners for the Summerside Inn B&B,” says Ken. “We plan to continue to do the breakfast for our guests at the Inn because we like that interaction with our guests,” says Jenny.
“Hiring staff will be new territory for us,” says Ken. “We want it to be a fun place to work.”
“We want to hire people who like multi-tasking and moving from one responsibility to another,” says Jenny. “Being quick at their work and enjoying what they are doing is important to us.”