Faces in the Crowd – Laughter and Friendship

Posted on February 1, 2018 under Faces in the Crowd with 2 comments

Living and loving life to the fullest


“There is no place nicer in the world than Antigonish.”

Meet Linda Sooley and Rick Asselin.

Linda grew up in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Rick was born in Ottawa. Linda left Newfoundland when she was 20. Her work took her to different parts of Canada. She raised her family in Ontario. One of her jobs was administrative secretary at Algonquin College for an amiable young man by the name of Kent MacDonald. She would become reacquainted with him several years later.

Rick was raised by his grandmother in Hull, Quebec and in his early 20’s; he hopped a train and went out to Vancouver to begin his work career. He was a builder specialist for one of Canada’s major banks. He also had a passion for vehicles, especially BMW’s which he bought and sold.

In 2012, Rick was sitting on a park bench in Aylmer, Quebec mapping out his route to Texas where he was traveling to see his brother. On the other end of the bench sat Linda. They struck up a conversation and he ended up inviting her out for supper. Rick did go to Texas but kept in touch with Linda.

In the summer 2014, now a couple, they traveled to Newfoundland, a place that Rick always wanted to visit. They talked about buying a business together although they weren’t sure what that business would be.

Upon returning to Nova Scotia after a day time sailing, Antigonish seemed a logical place to stop for the night. They booked a room at a B@B in Cape George. When their GPS took them into the country via Hawthorne Street, they were convinced they were on the wrong road. Having remembered a small motel called the Evergreen, they backtracked looking for a room for the night. As fate would have it, there had just been a cancellation and they stayed there that night.

It was love at first sight…. the motel, that is!

Over breakfast, they found out that the place was for sale. They both had a gut feeling that this just might be the right business opportunity that they were seeking. They tracked down the realtor and later that very same day, made an offer to purchase which was accepted. On November 3, 2014, Linda and Rick were officially motel owners.

The Evergreen Inn is a hidden gem. Because of its location, it does not enjoy the visibility enjoyed by other accommodations. But that hasn’t stopped the motel from getting a reputation as one of the premier motels in its class in Canada. Trip Advisor, Canada Select and Trivago all have it near or at the top of their ratings scales.

And how does a small motel achieve such lofty status?  “We pay attention to detail. We will do anything to make a traveler’s stay more enjoyable,” says Rick.

“And Rick has a wonderful sense of humour,” chirps in Linda. “We both like to chat with our customers and are interested in the vocations of many of their guests.”

The couple is here for the long haul. They purchased a property in Cape George and when they aren’t attending to the smallest of detail for the traveling public, they are enjoying the lifestyle of rural Nova Scotia.

It is obvious that they love what they do and have embraced Antigonish, the place they now call home. With laughter and friendship, they have built a solid, profitable business.

May the business remain “ever green.”

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