Business Spotlight on….The Inn at Lewis Bay

The Inn at Lewis Bay

Today we feature The Inn at Lewis Bay,  one of only a handful of Bed & Breakfasts in Yarmouth.  The owner and host Teresa Stigura is active with the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce and an avid user of Social Media.  I’ve run into her several times at Chamber events and follow her cute and candid Facebook posts and have been excited to check out her B&B in person.  I made my way over to visit Teresa and tour the Inn on a breezy summer day during Yarmouth Summer Celebration.

When you take the turn off Route 28 you start getting excited and your expectations rise, the drive is through a quaint little residential community right on the bay.  The houses are beautiful and while you have easy access to 28 you’d think you’re miles and miles away given how quiet and calm it all feels.  When you arrive you realize you just passed the beach.  It’s like right there!  Better still, you’ll soon find out there’s no parking fee (not that you need to park since you’ll be walking) and the beach is not used nearly as much as the others in town.

Lewis Bay

Then you pull up to the inn and smile.  It’s WONDERFUL!  Like postcard quality “I wish I could live here”, wonderful.  A big dark wood deck with comfy chairs and tables, perfect for an afternoon chat session with a girlfriend or loved one.  A bright green lawn with inviting Adirondack chairs that beg for a glass of wine and a good book.  It’s all there waiting for you!

Relaxing at the Inn at Lewis Bay

At this point I meet Teresa and she takes me inside for a tour.  The inside of the “home” is everything you’d expect and more.  I say home because it really feels so homey in there.  All of the rooms are uniquely designed with personalized accessories, and a few have beautiful wall murals.  It’s like what your house would look like if you could bring your Pinterest board to life!  Each room (six in all) have their own bathroom, TV and Keurig coffee maker as well as an “around town” book with local brochures and info about the Inn.

Picket Fence room at the Inn at lewis Bay

Bird Song room at the Inn at Lewis Bay

Small touches at the Inn at Lewis Bay

Coffee, water and more at the Inn at Lewis Bay

While the rooms really are lovely I think the common areas are even better.  This place is perfect for a weekend getaway.  The halls and walls are adorned with comforting accessories, the furniture in the living room is inviting, the games are waiting to be played.  It all just works and Teresa tells me she’s designed it to “feel like home, without any of the responsibilities.”

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Afternoon Snack at the Inn at Lewis Bay

Home accessories at the Inn at Lewis Bay

Grand Staircase at the Inn at Lewis Bay

Teresa manages the property herself.  Personally my head spins at the thought of keeping every inch of your house that clean on a daily basis but she admits to being one of those people that just loves cleaning. I wish some of that had rubbed off on me, but alas, it did not!  When I asked her how she manages it all she simply tells me that she “loves to tend a house, so it doesn’t feel like work.”  The cooking and cleaning and entertaining have always been something she’s enjoyed.

In her past life Teresa was a dental assistant (which she also loved).  She grew up in England and met her now husband (an American) while he was there working in avionics.  They moved back to the United States and opened a shop in PA. They often came to the Cape for vacations and both loved it here.  Teresa says it reminds her of England.  As they thought about their future they knew they wanted to make their life here and so they began looking for a B&B. Teresa chuckles when she tells me how the photos online at the time just didn’t do the Inn at Lewis Bay justice.  The realtor asked them to come take a look at it and thankfully they agreed because they knew instantly this was their home.

Listening to Teresa talk about the Inn you can tell she really loves it here.  She speaks fondly of making different breakfasts for guests each morning and how she loves adding the little touches like putting out fresh lemonade and cookies for her guests in the afternoon or being able to offer people bikes to ride around while they stay.  She does all the cooking too and exudes a “jack of all trades” boundless energy, with her British accent and bubbly personality.  She and her husband Keith live on the third floor which she admits has the best views of Lewis Bay.  She describes the Inn like it’s “going to your best friend’s house”.  When I asked her what she’d want to tell people she just says “Come to my little home off of Rt. 28, step away from the hustle and bustle of town and see what you’re missing over here.”

Teresa says that she repeatedly has her guests tell her the Inn at Lewis Bay is a “little gem”.  I’d have to agree.  It has a great location, a beach in walking distance, a great host, well appointed cozy rooms, yummy food…..the list goes on an on.  If you’re someone that enjoys a B&B and you’re thinking of a trip to Cape Cod, you just have to check out The Inn at Lewis Bay.  Teresa says not to be scared of the shoulder or off season. She says September and October are great and she has a few quilting groups that come in the winter and love it.  So go check out The Inn at Lewis Bay online or in person and be sure to tell Teresa we sent you and don’t forget to post a comment here on our blog after your stay!

~April

The Inn at Lewis Bay is located at 57 Maine Ave. West Yarmouth, Cape Cod, MA 02673 Phone 1-855-394-7229 or online at www.innatlewisbay.com.

You Make Me Happy at the Inn at Lewis BayInn at Lewis Bay

Beautiful touches at the Inn at Lewis Bay

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Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce Business Spotlight on Howl-A-Day Inn Doggy Day Care of Cape Cod

Welcome to the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce Business Spotlight On….Howl-A-Day Inn Doggy Day Care of Cape Cod where their tagline is “Heads and tails above the rest!” Howl-A-Day is entering their third summer on Cape Cod.  Susan, the owner, purchased and redesigned Howl-A-Day, calling on a collective 30 years of experience in the industry to be a safe, fun and dependable place for people to leave their dogs for a day or an extended stay.  Their model is simple – “clean, dependable and fun.”

Howl-A-Day Inn Doggy Day Care of Cape Cod

Howl-A-Day caters to the people that live, and work here on the Cape, and is proud to offer a place for dog owners to feel confident leaving their favorite pals.  As Susan says “We’re not the biggest, or the cheapest but we’re a little bit different in all the right ways.”

This would seem a perfectly fitting description.  After spending some time with howl-a-day the one thought I kept coming back to was that howl-a-day is run remarkably similar to a children’s daycare!

You enter the day care and everyone has their own place for their stuff…

Howl-a-Day Inn Doggy Day Care of Cape Cod

Everyone has their own bed.  (At Howl-a-day there is actually a scheduled nap time for the dogs to rest.)

Nap area for dogs at Howl-a-Day Inn Doggy Day Care of Cape Cod

No one is ever left unattended.  Really, there is always someone in with the dogs…. just hanging out and playing with them!  All. day. long. How excited would you be?!

Love for dogs shows through at Howl-A-Day Inn Doggy Day Care of Cape Cod

Dogs are grouped by age and size,  (are you seeing the similarities yet?) and each week they work on an agility and command with your dog….that’s helpful now isn’t it?

Practicing their manners - Dog obedience at Howl-A-Day Inn Doggy Day Care of Cape Cod
Everyone has to conduct a temperament assessment and Susan says she is a real stickler for medical releases. (sort of like when the school tracks you down for your child’s yearly physical.)

Doggy love at Howl-A-Day Inn Doggy Day Care of Cape Cod

So, how do you sign your child…eh dog up you ask?  Well the process is simple yet thorough.  Every owner must fill out a form and complete a temperament assessment on-site with staff.  At that time you tour the facility to make sure you’re all a good fit for each other.  If everyone is happy and all shots and medical releases are up to date then you’re in!  Howl-A-Day is open 7am-6pm Monday through Friday and summer Saturdays.  They also offer overnight boarding (complete with movies for the doggies, just like a slumber party).

Contact Howl-A-Day Inn Doggy Day Care

In talking with Susan you could see her enthusiasm for the dogs and for her staff.  In fact, no less than three times she mentioned how her success is attributable to her staff.  One of her staff has been a Vet Tech for over 15 years. Her pride in their passion and their love for animals shows through when she speaks about her business.  The dogs enjoy being there because they are cared for and played with and attended to constantly.  No wonder, it sounds much better than being home alone while mom and dad are at work now doesn’t it?

In addition to all these great amenities are the added offerings Susan provides to her day care clients.  Each month Susan schedules Aussie Pet Mobile to come to Howl-A-Day so that her client’s owners don’t have to take time off of work or spend part of their weekend having their dog groomed.  She also brings in a certified animal massage therapist, Beth DiGiulio once a month to take care of any doggies that might need a little extra TLC.  She often holds American Red Cross CPR for K-9 training, estate planning for pets, and other workshops throughout the year.

Howl-A-Day also gives back the community in several ways. Not only do they work with high school work study and intern programs, they spend a lot of time raising funds for organizations like the Sampson Fund, CARE and The Last Gasp.  In talking with Susan you can hear her passion for these causes and for the local community and projects like the Barnstable County Dog Park which she supports.

It was a pleasure visiting Howl-A-Day Inn Doggy Day Care. We hope you give them a call the next time you need a place for your four legged friend to hang out.  You can find them on the web at www.howladayinncapecod.com or on Facebook.  Of course you could also give them a call at 508-790-HOWL (4695) or go the old fashioned route and stop in and see them at 12 Industrial Park Road West Yarmouth, MA.

In the mean time we invite you to say hello to Susan in the short video below!

 

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Business Spotlight on Ann & Fran’s Kitchen

Ann & Fran's Kitchen

Ann & Fran’s Kitchen found at 471 Main Street West Yarmouth, MA on Cape Cod

Ann & Fran’s Kitchen, located at 471 Main Street in West Yarmouth opened in 1975.  Current owner Debby Duarte purchased the popular Yarmouth eatery five years ago and runs it with her son Tyler (the chef) and daughter, Kayla.

 

Chef Tyler, Ann & Fran's Kitchen

Chef Tyler, hard at work at Ann & Fran’s Kitchen in West Yarmouth, MA

Kayla from Ann & Fran's Kitchen in West Yarmouth, MA on Cape Cod

Kayla serving up a cup of coffee at Ann & Fran’s Kitchen

 

 

A quick search online finds that Ann & Fran’s is rated number two for restaurants in West Yarmouth (TripAdvisor) with a 4.5 out of 5 star rating.  In the summer it’s common to drive by and see groups of people outside at the picnic tables, chatting with others, while waiting for a seat.  With food this good though, it’s rarely a problem for customers.  Regulars know to expect a wait and talking with other patrons is just part of the atmosphere. Inside the restaurant, Ann & Fran’s has a homey feel that makes you feel immediately comfortable. It’s a place you can bring your kids or your grandma and soon find yourself striking up a conversation with the table next to you. While many locals visit more frequently during the winter months when it’s a little slower, many travelers consider themselves “regulars” and return year after year during their summer vacation.

Ann & Fran's Kitchen

A warm atmosphere welcomes you at Ann & Fran’s Kitchen.

Daily specials at Ann & Fran's Kitchen

Daily specials await at Ann & Fran’s Kitchen.

 

Ann & Fran’s serves a menu of breakfast and lunch items with favorites including Kale Soup, Eggs Benedict, lobster benedict, and their summer Lobster Roll.  The ingredients are fresh and the food is simply amazing.  Come June, the restaurant starts offering their chowder and lobster rolls, which are a huge, hit.  This season Chef Tyler is also hoping to try adding some new sandwiches but has no plans to mess with customer favorites (good thing!).

Lobster roll at Ann & Fran's Kitchen

The lobster roll is a summer favorite at Ann & Fran’s Kitchen.

Linguica Benedict at Ann & Fran's Kitchen

Linguica benedict from Ann & Fran’s Kitchen is a year round favorite.

 

If you’ve never been to Ann & Fran’s Kitchen its certainly one to add to your list.  If you’re a local, head on over now.  Vacationers, Debby tells us that things really start picking up during the week in June, and the weekends start picking up a little earlier.  Regardless of when you’re in the Yarmouth area, Ann & Fran’s Kitchen is a “must visit”.  Call them at 508-775-7771 or follow them on Facebook.

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Spotlight On The Historical Society Of Old Yarmouth

The Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce recently had the pleasure of touring the Captain Bangs Hallet House Museum located on Strawberry Hill Common in Yarmouth Port, MA.  Captain Bangs Hallet House Museum is the only fully furnished sea captain’s home on Cape Cod that is regularly open to the public.  For just $3 for adults and $.50 for children this is a wonderful way to experience history and the life of a sea faring family from the 19th century.

sea captain's home, Captain Bangs Hallet House

The Captain Bangs Hallet House Museum. The perfect place for individuals or bus tours to learn about the history of Yarmouth and the life of a 19th century sea captain’s family.

The Historical Society of Old Yarmouth offers tours of the Captain Bangs Hallet House Museum for individuals or bus tours on Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday, June 1 through October 15, with tours at 1, 2 & 3 p.m.  Upon entering the Captain Hallet House you view the formal room where all of the best china and furniture would be displayed.  As you move through toward the back of the house to the family room, dining room, small kitchen and eventually upstairs to the living sleeping rooms.

The house currently displays a wonderful collection of clothes, furniture and accessories.  The guides are incredibly detailed in their description and knowledge of historical fact and the day to day life of families during this time period.  It’s fascinating to learn about art made out of human hair (common with those who could not have photographs taken), the gorgeous silk fabrics and the maps within the home.  A large original 1858 map of Cape Cod hangs in one room.  Then there are other items such as a glass walking stick manufactured in Sandwich, MA and original top hats worn by the captains and the children’s toys on display.  Put together, these items are an impressive glimpse into life during this time period.

Outside the home sits a gorgeous old weeping beech tree, one of only a few here on Cape Cod. In the summer the tree will be spectacular with sweeping branches that will almost hide it’s trunk entirely, well worth the trip itself!

weeping beech tree cape cod

One of only a few weeping beech trees on Cape Cod.

 

weeping beech tree trunk, Yarmouth Port MA

Trunk of a weeping beech tree at the Captain Bangs Hallet House in Yarmouth Port MA

The Captain Bangs Hallet House Museum is a great stop for bus tours.  People interested in history, 19th century living, Cape Cod history and the life of Sea Captains and their families will find the Captain Bangs Hallet House fascinating and the rich history entertaining and educational.

The museum is fully funded by donations and memberships.  Memberships include free entrance to the Captain Bangs Hallet House and the nature trails surrounding the building as well as invitations to the member’s tea and tour, fall annual dinner meeting and more.  Full details can be found on the Historical Society of Old Yarmouth website. Those interested should note that in September the Captain Bangs Hallet House will host 20 stunning, antique wedding gowns. This event is set to take place the first two weekends in September and is sure to be a large draw.

Buses are encouraged to schedule their stops in advance and may do so by calling 508-362-3021.

 

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Yarmouth Puts The Spotlight On…..Captain Parker’s Pub

It’s a bright and sunny winter day here in West Yarmouth and I have the pleasure of sitting down with Gerry Manning, owner of Captain Parker’s Pub.

Captain Parker's Pub Owned by Gerry Manning

 

 

 

 

 

 

April: How did Captain Parker’s Pub come to be?

 

Gerry: I was a teacher up in Boston but I’d always wanted to start my own restaurant, to have a place I could call my own.  In 1981 a friend called me about this property for sale in West Yarmouth with a great view on Parker’s River, I could imagine a captain with a ship so Captain Parker’s was actually an easy name.  I intended it to be a seasonal business but once we got going we realized we had a year round business….and we’ve never looked back.  30+ years later and I’m grateful to say, we’re still holding strong.  We’ve added on and expanded but it’s still that same building with the river view.

 

 

 

 

April: Your chowder has won many awards and has seen its share of celebrity attention.  Tell us about it.

 

Gerry: I always said two things when I started; the beer has to be really, really cold and we have to have great chowder.  The first was very simple, but chowder is a surprisingly difficult food. I had a great chef and we worked on a recipe and came up with something thick and creamy we liked.

 

April: So how long did it take to perfect the recipe? If I was here in 86’ would I be eating the same chowder today as I did then?

 

Gerry: Oh sure, we really had it down probably in 1982. Since then its really been about evolving the technique more than anything.  The vegetable and potatoes have to be cooked perfectly, the base needs to be just so.  We use only fresh local ingredients, chopped sea clams…. fresh, fresh, fresh.

 

April: So beyond the chowder. I set down to your table, what do I eat?

 

Gerry: Well we know we can’t be everything to everyone, but we try to do the best we can.  Our broiled scrod is the next best seller. It’s very good.

 

April: Really though, as the owner you can only eat so much chowder, what do you eat?

 

Gerry: Chicken Marsala. In fact I really love all our sautéed dishes.  Our chowder and seafood bring people in but there’s usually at least one person in a party that doesn’t eat seafood. Our sautéed dishes and our prime rib are excellent.

 

April: So what do you think really made Captain Parker’s stand out?

 

Gerry: The chowder festivals really helped.  For years my team kept getting on me to enter.  Finally in 1998 we entered the Cape Cod Chowder Festival for the first time – and we won.  They were so excited.  The team was really into it.  It was A LOT of work to do right. We really gave it 100% for every one of those.  Lots of hours and lots of investment in, but done right they paid off.

 

April: Would you recommend your peers, say a baker, enter into contests like this if available?

 

Gerry: Oh yes, whatever exposure you can get.  Well, that is you have to be confident you have a really great product and can win! The Cape Cod festival attracts about 3,000 people, which is pretty amazing, Boston was about 12,000 people and Newport has about 20,000. The marketing and word of mouth that comes with winning even one award like that, is huge for a small business like ours.

 

April: And you won them all.

 

Gerry: Yes, we have really done well with those over the years and they brought so much exposure.  From there it led to what was a great run with the Food Network.  Rachel Ray came and featured our chowder in one of her books.  We even have a Jeopardy question, which is fun.

 

April: So how have you managed to stay relevant this long?

 

Gerry: It’s a delicate balance I think.  We have to keep changing but not too much. We have people that come back yearly to visit Cape Cod and always come here.  They need to feel comfortable, like they know us. We’re known for all the patches on our walls.  It’s funny, if people come back and their patch is moved, they want to know where it is!

Patches, Captain Parkers, Yarmouth MA, Cape Cod  Golf Balls, Captain Parker's Pub, Yarmouth MA, Cape Cod

 

 

 

 

 

Really we just try to offer great food at a reasonable price, but even that wouldn’t be enough.  I think what’s made this a welcoming place over the years is our staff.  My wife and I try hard to make this a place that people want to work at.  And they do.  We have people that have worked here 10, 15, 20 years, and not just a couple of them.  Our “rookie” bartender has been here 16 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

April: So what is new then?

 

Gerry: Well ever since we opened the place I’ve wanted to have an outdoor patio.  Last summer we finally saw that come to fruition.  It’s a great space to enjoy a meal and take in the beautiful view and we’re really excited about it’s potential.  We’re still working on an awning system to keep people comfortable in the sun, all the details are important but that’s probably our biggest change.  We also just introduced a tapas menu for the bar.  Our goal is for our chowder to be a meal in itself if you want, but the tapas menu is a nice compliment for those that want a little more without a huge meal.

 

April: What would surprise me about Captain Parker’s?

 

Gerry: All the romance.

 

April: Did you say romance?

 

Gerry: Oh yes, lots of romance has started here over the years.  I won’t name names but we have people that have met here as employees, married, and now have children.  It’s been quite a surprise to see, especially with employees who work here as long as ours do.

 

April: What else might the average person not know?

 

Gerry: Well for the beer lovers out there, Sam Adams makes a special brew just for Captain Parker’s.  It’s called Ocean Ale.

Sam Adams Ocean Ale, Sam Adams Beer for Captain Parker's

 

 

 

 

April: Ok that’s pretty neat.

 

Gerry: Yeah we think so too. We’ve always had a great relationship with Sam Adams.  We’ve also served Cape Cod Beer since the beginning.  I’ll tell you when Todd (the owner) carried the beer in himself I said “gees if he’ll carry his own beer, I’ll buy from him.”

 

April: So what advice do you have for your other Chamber Members?

 

Gerry: Oh well I don’t know that I’m qualified to give advice but for us our community is vital. It all comes back to the locals.  We have to be a place locals want to frequent.  When a tourist comes into town and asks the receptionist at the hotel or the person doing their nails where to eat, we want them to say Captain Parker’s.  Word of mouth is still the best advertising hands down and that comes back to our local community.  We serve them well and they’ll serve us well.

 Bar at Captain Parker's Pub

 

 

 

 

April: So it seems everyone these days always wants bigger and better. How have you not given in to that temptation to expand locations or sell your chowder to a name brand company?

 

Gerry: You know every year about this time someone comes to me with an idea for expansion, a second location or a way to sell off our chowder.  And you do get really excited.  You like to think you have a great business, that you could weather the storms and still come out ahead and stay grounded.  In all honesty though, this is a tough business.  People want more for less and you want to be able to give that to them.  In the end I’ve been happy just like this.  I’m happy with the expansion of the patio and what that will do for us.  And we have expanded a bit, you can now get Captain Parker’s Chowder in local grocery stores.  You have to really live this business, it’s as demanding as it is rewarding. I’m happy just like this. Captain Parker’s is a special place with great people behind it; I’m happy with that.

 

April: The crowd is picking up, I need to let you go. Any parting juicy details you can leave me with that no one else knows?

 

Gerry: Just how grateful we are for the locals and for programs like what you’re doing here. Every dollar put into promoting Yarmouth is a dollar well spent…. And well now that you mention it there is something else I’ve been thinking about that could be coming along.  Nothing like a second location or anything but exciting just the same.  {insert teacher’s voice from Charlie Brown as Gerry tells me what he’s working on!}

 

April: But I can’t mention that though?

 

Gerry: Not yet.  I’ll let you know if and when you can release that to your followers.

Captain Parker's, West Yarmouth, Cape Cod, Gerry Manning

So there you go folks.  You’ll just have to stay tuned for an update.  You can post your guesses on what this news might be (or you’d like it to be) in the comments below and check back often for updates. Until then…. my lips are sealed!

See you soon for the next edition of Spotlight On…

~April

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