Editor’s note: This week, we profile the six winners of the Lunenburg Queens Business Excellence Awards.
For years , they would frequent yard sales and antique shops, picking up the odds and ends that would eventually fill The Barn Coffee & Social House: Mike and Amelia Bishop had a vision from the beginning.
“We started talking about opening a coffee house years ago,” said co-owner Amelia of the business.
“We had the name, the concept, we pictured a place like the one we’re in today.”
Together, Amelia and Mike Bishop fulfilled a dream by opening their café in February of 2017.
To the outside observer, the project came together quickly given construction on their iconic location, an old barn along Mahone Bay’s main street, took less than six months.
The business has been successful, too, winning the hospitality award at the Lunenburg Queens Business Excellence Awards in early March.
However, Mike said they never expected The Barn’s to be so successful so quickly.
“It’s scary to take a risk and do something like this,” he said. “You don’t know how hard you’ll have to work to make yourself known. We’re very grateful.”
He added that they had moved to the area around eight years ago and had been working on another business before seizing their opportunity to open The Barn.
Amelia said when she and Mike were first shown the property by the current owners, she was immediately drawn to the space despite it’s condition; the building had no windows, no insulation but they went for it anyways.
“It’s pretty amazing. It’s surreal when you do these kind of projects,” she said of the renovations.
Mike and Amelia said they had planned on hitting the pavement and to knock door-to-door to advertise their opening.
However, the town beat them to it; the lineups have hardly stopped since opening day.
The success, they said, has been a dream come true.
“At some point in your life, if you want to do something different, you’ve got to take a leap of faith,” said Mike. “You’ve got to jump ... and that’s the scariest thing in the world.”