Inspiration on the 45th Parallel: You’ll find it at Chancery Lane Co.
Inside the cozy and welcoming interior of The Chancery Lane Co. in Bracebridge, is another wonderful space: Tea on the 45th. The way these businesses came together is a wonderful Muskoka story.
Marc Baudendistel and Darrin Sutton are the creative minds behind the store, and although they’ve only owned The Chancery Lane Co. for a year, they’ve been in business together for over a decade.
Darrin, who grew up in Bracebridge, moved with Marc to Florida, where they ran a tea company. When they moved back to Muskoka, they wanted to keep selling their loose-leaf teas, and started selling at farmers’ markets across the region.
Being on the 45th parallel, they named everything after where they were, and so Tea on the 45th was born. Darrin, who is an interior designer, also has a company called Interiors on the 45th.
When the pandemic hit, Darrin was unable to go into people’s homes and design anymore. The markets were stopped, so they created a little online boutique for home decor called On The 45th.
One day, during a walk in Bracebridge in December, they saw that The Chancery Lane Co. was for sale. That was on a Sunday. By Thursday, in the middle of a pandemic, Marc and Darrin had a storefront.
They took their home decor from Interiors on the 45th, and built a tea wall and moved their 100 custom loose leaf tea blends in.
Now, they sell tea (hot or iced) and home decor out of this space. But, they understand the connection that many have to Chancery Lane Co., which is why they kept the name.
“Because Chancery Lane has a good reputation on the street, and people love it, we decided to keep the name,” Marc says.
The tea that Marc sells is uniquely Muskokan.
“A lot of our teas now are Muskoka themed or inspired,” he says. “We have a Muskoka green tea that has hints of pine, and a Muskoka Morning tea, which is kind of a blend of a bunch of different black teas. It’s just bright and fresh. It’s like waking up on a Muskoka morning.”
Marc and Darrin joined the Muskoka Lakes Chamber right before the lockdown, and they are really excited to build a network with other businesses through the Chamber and ShopMuskokaLakes.ca
“We really want to get involved in the community, get to know people, and just sort of build a network,” Marc says.
They’re optimistic about the summer and the coming year. This was their retirement business, says Marc, and he’s looking forward to getting into a flow when things get back to normal.
“I think people are going to have such a pent-up need to celebrate, to get together, and to do things. I think it’s going to be an amazing time. And we’re excited to be a part of it all.”
When in Muskoka, shop The Chancery Lane Co in person to experience everything great about this store, from the tea wall to chatting with Darrin about interior design. When you just can’t visit yourself, you can also browse all that The Chancery Lane Co. has to offer by visiting ShopMuskokaLakes.ca. Thank you for supporting local Muskoka businesses. The Chancery Lane Co is a proud Member of the Muskoka Lakes Chamber of Commerce.
Blog by Natalie MacMillan