Meet Marg & Brian Weese

Linda Selkirk

Brian & Marg Weese. (Photo by Barry Lovegrove.)
[This article ran in the April/May 2013 issue of The SCOOP.]

Marg and Brian Weese own and operate a local gem: The Five Corners Craft Centre and Devon Café on the main street of Tamworth and this coming September [2013] they will celebrate their 20th anniversary of operation. Prior to their ownership of the café, it was known as the Devon Tea Room, a nod to the English birthplace of Monica Vermuellen, who, with her husband Buster, ran the café over twenty years ago. They generously shared all their experience with the new owners, another trait unique to and appreciated by the local customers.

The Weeses are always busy: multiple trips to gift shows; catering weddings and other events locally and beyond; hosting special events at the Café such as Valentine’s Day Dinner and the Italian Dinner; baking for their own use as well as supplying other retailers; providing food for local school events and running the café from 8:30 to 4:30 daily except for Mondays. Diane Beek is their right-hand aide working in the café all week and they also employ two experienced weekend helpers, Sarah Gullins and Jen Galamb.

Their menu features long time favourites such as date squares, butter tarts, carrot soup (a must-try), and the Salmon River Breakfast. From the Devon Club sandwich to their delicious lasagna, all food is fresh and homemade – something that restaurateurs and customers alike in our local small towns appreciate. No cutting corners here (no pun intended).

The gift shop is splendid and there are new offerings all the time. At this time of year, they sell garden decorations as well as a line of clothing that is always unique and very reasonably priced. Birkenstock footwear is available at the store as are all kinds of accessories in the newest styles and colours: popular this year is a retro look featuring lime and orange. Many of the items featured in the store are from local artisans, including some fabulous mosaic plates and wooden platters and hand-made quilts.

Brian, who retired for health reasons, has put in a lot of work remodelling the café. The newest theme is rich with browns and taupes and boasts a lovely hand-made quilt on the wall. The tin ceiling, while always interesting, now boasts artwork to showcase it making it unique as well as attractive. Brian also ran the canteen at the Stone Mills arena last year.

Wedding planners have nothing on the Weeses. When they cater weddings, they also provide a myriad of ready-to-go items, such as chair covers, linens, dishes, cutlery et al. One-stop shopping certainly sounds good. They also have what you need for anniversary and birthday parties including helium (the long-lasting helium) for bright balloons. Marg has the enthusiasm and energy to take on new projects as people request them.

Frances the Frog, who most of us got to know during his stay, was a mainstay and mascot near the front door; he now proudly stands in the garden of the lucky buyer who took him home. Not wanting to be without a mascot, Marg has found just the perfect one – an adorable dragon who will greet us this year. I resisted suggesting renaming part of their store The Dragon’s Den – somehow I think there might be a copyright issue. But the permanent mascot, however, is Miss Lilly, their pup who has a little fan club of her own.

I would encourage anyone who hasn’t been there yet to take a couple of hours to enjoy a meal and shop at leisure through the large gift area – a great outing that will likely yield some treasures for you to take away along with some new special memories.

Marg & Brian. (Photo by Barry Lovegrove.)