You don’t have to wait for February to find love in MacTier, according to Betty Jo Royce who is the Owner/Operator of the “The Muskoka Station Store”. It can happen anytime.
Love was in the air before she opened her new store located in MacTier; Betty Jo who now prides herself on her product displays says love is what brings that warm sense and comfort to your home, cottage, or office and you will find it in many of her products in store.
Betty Jo was new to MacTier having arrived after finding her true love, Don. Wanting to stay busy after a career in the Finance sector, Betty Jo set eyes on the little store in the heart of downtown MacTier, already envisioning its potential. We asked Betty Jo what her reason for purchasing The Muskoka Station Store was, and she brought us back to the very name. MacTier, a railway town, will and should be remembered as a Station Stop along the CP Railway. Maintaining this quaint little boutique as The Muskoka Station Store added authentic MacTier character. Now, her items for the store, although you do see some trains, are based on home decor and gifts. Betty Jo says her themes tend toward cottage-life, moose, plaid, board games and themes that are carried all four seasons. There are local consignment artists inside who offer handmade soap, jewellery, quilting and crochet. Overall, it’s hard for any visitor to the shop to walk away without something their guests cannot live without.
MacTier is a little community with a big heart.
Now just over a year of her business being open, Betty Jo has spread her wings even further. She is now the Chair of the MacTier Community Development Association, a volunteer position that seemed the right move after a year volunteering on the MacTier Festival Committee. Betty Jo could see a fit for her and and her store by volunteering in the community. This past October, she held a “Scarecrow Contest” which will now be an annual event in the community. The downtown is alive again with all stores participating, as well as the Library, Public School and the MacTier Railway Heritage Committee. It seems that the whole town is working together to capture the seasons as they present themselves in MacTier.
Betty Jo smiles, as she says “This community has everything. You don’t have to leave here.” Even her store works three fold as she also sells Lotto and has a Service Ontario centre right inside. Residents can get their licence renewed in MacTier, and Betty Jo points out that this sometimes daunting experience has never been more fun, as the shelves here at The Muskoka Station Store are stocked and guests can look around while they wait for permit stickers, or other services provided via Service Ontario.
We checked in with Betty Jo one last time to see how this love month of February was going. We asked one last question. ‘What keeps you up at night?’ To our surprise, Betty Jo said “not much anymore, life is much less stressful here in MacTier.” I want to keep the store going as long as possible. Betty Jo let us know that her patrons will see more services added in the future. Having the new Royal Hudson Mural right outside her door, Betty Jo is sure to find ways to incorporate new visitors to MacTier into her store.
What keeps you up at night? To our surprise, Betty Jo said not much anymore, life is much less stressful here in MacTier.