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The Country Encounters Hospitality Bed & Breakfast in Coleman  is part of an historic site, a place that is popular amongst period movie makers and history buffs – and now overnight travellers.

The quiet street with unobstructed views of the mountains used to include a Home Hardware store until it closed down and relocated to Blairmore. Then, in 1998, chefs Dawn and Mark Rigby, alumni of the SAIT professional cooking program, bought the building and converted it to a B&B that offers guests clean and comfortable accommodations, scrumptious breakfasts, picnic lunches and gourmet dinners on request.

Mark and Dawn operate their business with help from their daughter Nichole, who is an accomplished artist and jewellery maker. Alongside antique furniture and one-of-a-kind design elements that comprise the décor in the suites, guests will find beautiful metal finishing elements on mantles and cabinets – custom elements created by Nichole.

The B&B also employs award-winning housekeeper Shelley Zur, and eight local folks who are on-call for staffing catering functions. Staff that includes a group of young men intriguingly named “the lift, tote and carry boys.”

In addition to the B&B rooms, the former hardware store also houses catering kitchens and a 60-room banquet facility.

The B&B has outgrown the four bedrooms that Mark and Dawn built, so in 2016, they finished a building across the street that offers five more bedrooms, including a two-bedroom suite. The main floor is a Tapas and Wine Bar establishment, giving more scope to the Rigby’s focus on food.

As the business has grown, Mark and Dawn have divided the work. Mark tends to do more of the cooking, with a creative and imaginative approach to recipes and food preparation and presentation. Dawn is the business woman, organizer, supervisor and growth manager. She cannot deny her passion, however, as she also prepares delicious meals for guests, and hosts regular cooking classes.


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