“This morning I was showering and I had an idea.” Or, how creativity happens in Trinidad.
Relative newcomers to Trinidad, Craig and Della Stevens are profiled in our Blog archives when their new business was highlighted. At that time, it was a small, storefront gift shop where unique Stevens family items were on display. As Craig and Della learned more about Trinidad, their merchandise diversified to provide what Trinidadians and tourists told them was missing in Trinidad. From that point on, Tees Me Treat Me has morphed from a shop featuring one-of-a-kind made-to-order tee shirts and tasty fudge and cracker treats to a wine tasting room and Trinidad-specific items featuring Trinidad’s historical characters, plus Craig’s award-winning fly fishing lures turned to art. True Creatives are constantly finding new and better ways to do … well, everything. Craig’s love of history took him into the annals of lore surrounding the historic Columbian Hotel which houses Tees Me Treat Me. Soon the lowered storefront ceiling was removed to disclose the tin ceiling with bullet holes from the days that Bat Masterson served as town marshal.
Craig and Della restored the middle portion of their rental slot, where they moved their wine tasting room to allow more space for merchandise and parties in the front room.
Keeping the third segment of their unit for storage and printing equipment, Craig started to explore the courtyard left untouched for decades behind their unit and facing the hotel walls. This area was filled with debris from years of hotel restoration attempts. What Craig found was opportunity, a metaphorical Old West Gold Mine, including the original Columbian Hotel sign. With permission from the current hotel owner, Craig and Della were given the go-ahead to fix up the abandoned courtyard and, at their expense, turn it into a place for outside dining and evening entertainment in a unique, protected area.
Of course, that led to restoration of the third unit segment and the opening of the Columbian Hotel Café. Now a favorite place for homemade soups, stews, and paninis, this reporter was dining on a Gourmet Vegetable panini and chatting with Della about the fun they are having with their eclectic services when Craig came rushing from the kitchen with, “this morning I was showering and I had an idea.” “Oh no,” sighed Della. After all, it has been all of two months since opening the Café, so of course it’s time for Craig to add something new, different, and not currently available in Trinidad. “I’m thinking we should collaborate with SCRT and provide historical melodramas in the courtyard this summer. We could seat 25 people, and the actors could use …,” and he was off.
Nothing like warm, flowing water to keep Creatives loosened up!