There’s a cozy little house on Abbey Steet that’s open to all walks of life that step through its door. It’s none other than the Abbey House Inn, which has been providing visitors with a relaxing reprieve from the world for the last 21 years.
Although built on a foundation of sheer hospitality, the Abbey House Inn’s foundation was literally hoisted from its original location near the old Saint Anthony Church and plopped on its current location at 101 Abbey St. in 2002. At the time, the mastermind of the move and owner of the building was John Siracusa, and he went on to fix up the old house with the end product being a vibrant display modern mixed with a dose of good old-fashioned coziness. He facilitated the Abbey House Inn bed and breakfast for years until he handed over ownership to Pam and Eric Tavenier on Sept. 22, 2017 — a couple of crafty, countryside bed and breakfast veterans who embody hospitality.
Ambition abound, the Taveniers added personal touches to the inn and kept the ship running smoothly until it ran aground in 2020, as the world encountered the pandemic. Regardless, they did what they could to stay compliant with health regulations until Eric’s own health took a turn as he suffered a heart attack on Dec. 3, 2021, due to a congenital heart condition. That wouldn’t be enough to keep either Taveniers down, however, as Eric would recover and receive a full bill of health as of Dec. 28, 2022. The Taveniers rebounded with renewed resolve to continue providing visitors with a welcome to Winters they’d never forget.
“I had the gold standard of heart attacks which is the most minimally damaging, luckily. Doctors told me I had a bicuspid, aortic valve and I was only putting out about 20 percent of the blood my body needed,” said Eric. “It’s been a year now since that happened and we’re past it now. It’s flipped my whole situation. I feel 100 percent again, my drive is back and Pam took care of everything while I was recovering.”
Now in 2023, the Abbey House Inn is firing on all cylinders. For as long as they stay, guests essentially step into a home they can call their own which features a fully-stocked kitchen, a common area to relax and socialize (with the most recent edition of the Winters Express available on the coffee table), a wrap-around porch to enjoy the fresh air as well as garden patches and trees that provide fresh fruit guests can pick at their leisure.
The rooms and sheets are immediately cleaned upon guests’ departure by Fabiola Concha of Super Clean which also keeps the joint looking pristine day in and day out. Although the Abbey House is a baby blue, it’s also quite green as it features solar panels and charging stations for guests rolling in electric vehicles.
“When we first bought the place we were excited to get started, but what amazed us were the parades that would come by. We had the homecoming parade, then the Halloween parade with all the kids and that year the Tractor Parade came by too. It was a really, really unique experience,” Pam said about their experience as owners thus far. “We’ve met some of the nicest people, too. We’re also listed in bicycle magazines because we’ve been really good to people who ride cross country. Winters is known as one of the classic stops on the way to San Francisco in the bike industry. We also had people from all over the world and they’ve all written in our guest book. They just love it here.”
As the Taveniers look to the future, they’re also going to take time to reflect on and celebrate the past 21 years of hospitality since the Abbey House Inn was transplanted and opened. According to the owners, there will be an open house, goodies for those in attendance and an unveiling of a bronze plaque. The date is to be determined. To stay up-to-date or to learn more about booking a stay at the Abbey House Inn — visit the Abbey House Inn social media accounts by searching @abbeyhouseinn on Facebook or Instagram, or its website abbeyhouseinn.com.