While you may think you know all about the city at first glance, there are some truly special spots located off the beaten path.
These five local businesses are hidden gems that continue to grow and thrive in the community: Stream Yoga + Meditation, The Garden Houzz, Alphabet Bookshop, Talwood Manor Bed & Breakfast, and De Luca Fine Foods.
Nestled in the back roads of Port Colborne, Stream Yoga + Meditation is a hidden oasis with relaxing views and a trickling fountain.
Offering a variety of classes led by a whole team of instructors, owner Heather Fenton’s main goal is to help her clients find inner peace.
“Forget what you think you know about yoga. It’s not primarily fitness. It’s primarily that inner peace. Learning to manage stress, learning to live in our body and with our minds.”
With over 20 years of Buddhist meditation training, Fenton says persistence and passion have been the key to her success in growing the business.
On top of that, Stream Yoga + Meditation works hard to form relationships with its clients. They do this through “kindness, loving people and caring about people.”
Situated on a small winding road, The Garden Houzz opened its doors in 2017. Since then it has become known for serving great Mediterranean and Turkish food in a warm and cozy atmosphere.
With a sprawling outdoor patio covered in trees and an indoor space with big windows overlooking a pond, the restaurant is beautiful in both the summer and winter.
Owner Hue Akakca says he prides himself on serving fresh food, with some of their most popular dishes including Chicken Souvlaki, Beef Moussaka and Grilled Calamari.
“Everything is prepared fresh. It’s healthy and nutritious,” says Akakca. “Everything is homemade, I don’t sell any processed food.”
With around 30 years of cooking experience, Akakca says their food is very distinguished and he’ll continue to incorporate his Turkish culture into the menu.
Richard Shuh, member and past president of the Antiquarian Bookselllers’ Association of Canada, has been a lover, collector and buyer/seller of books for decades. He started his journey at the Alphabet Bookshop in 1975 in Toronto, before moving the store to the Niagara region.
After opening in Port Colborne in 1989, the shop has since been filled floor to ceiling with books, collectables and small antiques.
Shuh’s bookstore looks unassuming from the outside, located in an old Victorian home. However, once inside you’re transported into a treasure trove of unique finds to sift through.
To grow the collection, Shuh travelled throughout Canada, the United States and even England and Australia to get his hands on some rare finds. “We travelled all over and buy from auction sales, estates, bookstores etc.” he states. “That’s where books are. That’s where you go.”
The store continues to bring in customers new and old. Some of Shuh’s customers have been buying books from them for almost 50 years.
Sitting on a quaint road, Talwood Manor is a historic bed and breakfast that has been welcoming tourists, cycling groups and locals for 19 years.
The four-bedroom abode, where each room is decorated in a different theme, is more than just a place to lay your head.
Owner Judith Boroniec has truly made her space a destination. One of her specialties is a mouth-watering gourmet three-course farm-to-table breakfast, which she serves herself.
On top of that, the spot is gorgeously decorated for every holiday and season. Halloween decorations fill the space in October, before switching over to Christmas and holiday decorations in late November.
In fact, Boroniec offers such an amazing experience that her bed and breakfast has won multiple awards over the years, including Tripadvisor’s Best of the Best.
Only twenty-five B&Bs and inns across Canada are given these awards for receiving consistent 5 bubble/stars from guests.
In 2015, Talwood Manor B&B was ranked 20 out of 25 and in 2021, ranked 11 out of 25.
“Not bad for a sole proprietorship in little Port Colborne!” remarks Boroniec.
While De Luca Fine Foods may look tiny from the outside, this business is bustling with activity and passion.
Selling Italian goods, the spot is known for its frozen lasagnas and other meals that are perfect for your next take-home dinner.
“We do everything in-house and everything is made by hand,” Alfonso Annibale states. “Even our sauces cook for 12 hours and we do all in-house dough. I mean, we do everything.”
But food isn’t the only thing the company cares about. When it comes to their customers, De Luca Fine Foods works hard to make everyone feel welcome. In fact, Annibale states that their customers are practically family.