The Retreat in Pink at the Briar Rose Inn in downtown Vancouver

“The people who like to visit and sit in the living room with a cup of coffee are the people who like to stay here,” Sallie said. “Sometimes I think, ‘There won’t be anything interesting about this person,’ but pretty soon they’re telling me amazing things, the places they’ve been and where they’re going next. Complete strangers s sit down at the breakfast table and we’ll hear them all laughing and really enjoying the meal, and we’ll think, ‘Isn’t that heart-warming?’”

Sallie lists the rooms on Airbnbbut said most people book directly on hostel website or through She doesn’t think sites like Airbnb, Vacasa Where Vrbo have affected the Briar Rose Inn in one way or another, either attracting new guests or providing more alternatives to foreigners.

“I have this general feeling about life, there’s enough for everyone. We’re as busy as we want to be,” Sallie said. “I’m happy that other people can make a little extra money if they have a space to rent. I’m not exactly ruthless or greedy. In fact, some days we just block rooms because we want to take a break.

The philosophy paid off. Most bed and breakfast owners burn out after about five or six years, Sallie said, but she and Ted have no plans to close the inn. Ted still enjoys being behind the scenes, making granola and yogurt, gingerbread pancakes, blueberry waffles and baked French toast. Meanwhile, Sallie’s flight attendant training makes her adept at connecting with guests, she said. And even the most stoic visitors melt in the presence of Gracie, their friendly little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. It’s an arrangement that’s perfect for everyone.

“I’m the guy who scrambles your eggs, that’s okay,” Ted said. “If you want fuzzy wuzz you gotta talk to Sallie or let Gracie kiss you.”

David H. Henry