New owners of Mrs. B's Historic
Lanesboro Inn open for business
Wednesday, May 07, 2014 6:18 AM
Amidst a crazy cold winter, the Lanesboro community prepared to receive Trish Capua and Matthew Vedder as the new owners of Mrs. B's Historic Lanesboro Inn. With complications arising during the fall of last year, the previous owner looked to sell the business.
Trish Capua and Matthew Vedder bought Mrs. B's Historic Lanesboro Inn earlier this year. Last weekend they opened the Inn for those looking for rest and relaxation. BRETTA GRABAU/REPUBLICAN-LEADER
Capua and Vedder had been searching for something new to do, something that could make a difference in people's lives. Their thought was to run a bed and breakfast "somewhere."
Originally, the two came from Florida where their skills were overqualified for the marketplace in that state. And they wanted to work in a position they enjoyed rather than having to get up and go to work.
After months of research, they realized to be able to run a bed and breakfast and acquiring a profit, they had to invest in one that had a minimum of five rooms and one that was no larger than 12 rooms. Additionally, as they looked around Florida for a bed and breakfast, they saw they must either spend a lot of money buying the building, or buy a cheaper fixer-upper. Neither options sat well with either Capua or Vedder, so they broadened their search through the Internet to other parts of the country.
Enter Mrs. B's.
In June the couple found the Lanesboro Inn online and liked what they saw. As they entered into negotiations to purchase the inn, Capua and Vedder scheduled a trip to see their possible investment.
Arriving in December with the temperature reading nine-below-zero did not hinder their excitement for seeing Mrs. B's.
As they traveled to Minnesota, the couple continued to hope the inn would be exactly as they would expect. It had been the only bed and breakfast they had seen on the Internet and loved.
They were not to be disappointed. Both agreed that Mrs. B's was everything they could have imagined it to be.
Capua and Vedder returned to Florida and prepared for the next step in their journey. When the purchase took longer than they had expected, they actually put the plans to buy Mrs. B's on hold and looked to develop a café elsewhere.
Eventually, however, a price was set for Mrs. B's, and plans resumed to pursue their initial dream of running a bed and breakfast.
Two days before the deal closed, Capua and Vedder arrived in Lanesboro, becoming new members of a wonderful community.
"We love the community here," Capua commented. "This is a beautiful area and we have already seen a lot of wildlife and walked on the bike trail. It is easier to have relationships here and know people by name. Being in a quaint downtown area such as this is wonderful."
Mrs. B's fit the qualifications they had for a bed and breakfast. With nine rooms, they always have something to do and they feel they can operate it by obtaining a profit rather than breaking even. One big attraction for Capua and Vedder was the fact the inn was seasonal.
"We both have kids in Florida and would like to spend time with them without being in a full grind. A seasonal inn is more flexible for us to go and visit them," Capua related.
Another attraction was the large commercial kitchen, big enough to support a small café. Both Capua and Vedder are great cooks and demonstrate abilities in working with healthy food. Often they work with ingredients such as different oils and other products which people may be allergic to. They offer a menu for those with allergies, but most of their regular items on the menu use those same ingredients as well.
While touring the inn, Capua and Vedder described the changes they made after buying it. Displaying their own personal touches within the building, new decorations such as a large fan and pictures painted by Vedder's mother hang on the walls.
Their main goal for the business is to take care of the guests, helping them to feel at home.
"We want our guests to be comfortable and feel at home in spite of being somewhere else. This should be a welcoming place where people can relax," Capua said.
Part of their effort in creating a relaxing atmosphere is duties like putting out coffee at 7 a.m. for early birds who relax in the lounge or giving them a lovely view from the garden toward the river.
However, the view is not the only relaxation offered. Vedder has a degree in alternative medicine and one idea is to offer relaxation therapy and technique sessions for the guests.
With all their qualifications in the cooking aspect of the business, another possible addition to the hospitality of the community would be offering healthy food packages and smoothies for people on the bike trail.
Eventually, the couple may open a café, but only after they have settled into their new positions as owners of a bed and breakfast while living onsite.
"People in this community are awesome and would like to know when the restaurant will open. Even people in other businesses like Pedal Pushers want to know," Vedder said. "At first I thought, 'competition,' but one of the great things about Lanesboro is that everyone is very welcoming and helpful in order to draw more people into the community, not for their own individual success."
Mrs. B's offers a tremendous history to attract visitors. In the late 1800s, the building housed several different offices including one belonging to Dr. Frank "White Beaver" Powell. In his initiative to bring eastern investment money to the area for railroads to come through, he began a show with Buffalo Bill. This was the Wild West Show, which boasts a reputation of success scarcely rivaled even today.
In 1983, Mrs. B's became the first bed and breakfast in Lanesboro through Mrs. Bloodroot's influence. She worked to begin the bike trail and the theater, helping to put Lanesboro on the map.
Throughout the inn, many historic photographs and artifacts are used to increase the feel of being at home and emphasize the great historicity of the building.
The new owners of Mrs. B's have a great number of ideas for their business, including possibly making their banquet room available for events or relaxed therapy sessions. They each come up with ideas for their inn and compliment each other in many areas of running a business.
After a few weeks of preparing for the season and settling in themselves, Capua and Vedder opened their doors to four guests on Friday, May 2. As the inn will be seasonal, they will be open at least until Oct. 31, after which they will return to Florida for the winter.
Capua and Vedder promise to offer friendly service and variety to the city of Lanesboro. They express that they are eager to develop more relationships within the community and learn more about this area of Minnesota.