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The Voyageur Motel and Restaurant Reopens
A Schreiber business is reopening and the community couldn’t be more thrilled.
Kim Krause from the Schreiber Media Centre sat down for coffee with Takreem Mahzar to talk about the new business.
The Voyageur Motel and Restaurant has been undergoing renovations for the last 3 years. The building was a landmark location for residents and travellers alike for nearly 50 years. It had changed hands many times over the years and was finally closed five years ago and sat empty until Takreem Mahzar purchased the building.
Takreem immigrated to Canada from Dubai and set out to find a business to open when she arrived. After visiting Schreiber she discovered that the Voyageur was available for purchase and bought the building. That was the start of a long and strenuous adventure. As the building had been unoccupied for so many years there was a lot of work ahead of her and would doing it mostly on her own. Bringing an older building up to code can be a daunting task and Takreem had to decide which of the buildings would be opened first.
The motel was not he obvious choice at the time but with the shortage of accommodation in Schreiber, it proved to be the right one. Everything from the colour of the walls to the type of bedding had to be sourced and took a few months to get going. While the motel was undergoing renovations, the front office/convenience store also needed to be sorted out. Initially the store front would act as an office for the motel but once the motel was opened the store was the next building to receive the upgrades.
Previously it had been typical highway shop with a gas station and road snacks, but Takreem realized that it could be so much more. It was transformed into a mini boutique with an eclectic assortment of items added and the usual convenience store items and snacks included.
Then it was finally time to tackle the last remaining piece of the puzzle. The restaurant had always been a central meeting point for the residents and travellers going through Schreiber. Rather than just recreate the past, it was decided that a cafe style would be better suited. Once staff had been trained and a menu decided upon it was nearly time to launch the cafe. Some residents found the new menu a bit to trendy for a place like Schreiber but it has really caught on with most people. Some traditional items were added and a set menu now hangs over the coffee machine at the front of the shop.
Takreem mentioned that the love and support she received from the residents of Schreiber went a long way in helping her cope with task of relaunching such an icon. Now that she has been joined by her husband she really is starting to feel like part of the community. The people of Schreiber are grateful that she has breathed life back into this important business and look forward to supporting it in the years ahead.
Schreiber Community Media is a non profit organization established with the aim of providing media production services and training for the residents of Schreiber and surrounding areas. Schreiber is located on the north shore of Lake Superior approximately two hours east of Thunder Bay.
The Schreiber Media Centre is locating in the Schreiber Public Library and includes tools for recording, live streaming and post production of audio and video.