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Jellybean Row House colours a popular choice for business owner

The row of bright yellow, red, green and plum buildings is a nod to Varied Treasure business owner Lola Jones, who hails from Newfoundland

There could be any one of a number of reasons why people choose to use vibrant colours to make their building stand out, whether it be for business or pleasure.  

Such is the case with a row of attached businesses at 581 Lakeshore Dr. in North Bay, which uses bright siding on the buildings to attract potential customers.

Located across the street from the Super 8 Hotel, businesses at the eye-catching location include the Varied Treasure consignment store and Deals North Bay Discount Grocery Outlet.

The row of bright yellow, red, green and plum buildings is a nod to Varied Treasure business owner Lola Jones, who hails from Newfoundland.

“When we bought this building during COVID, it was a very dismal-looking light grey. It was a garage, it was a building that was repossessed by the bank and it looked incredibly sad,” described Jones.

“And one thing in retail is you need something to grab your attention. You need something to grab the eye so you know where the building is.”

Thinking of ways to spruce up the dreary-looking buildings, her husband suggested Jones go back to her roots.

“Me being from Newfoundland, my husband said, ‘Nobody else in North Bay has a Jellybean Row Housing look, so why don’t we do the buildings to reflect on it?’”

On that note, Jones went ahead and selected bright-coloured siding as a nod to the vibrantly coloured Jellybean Row Houses back home.

“There is a lot of row housing in Newfoundland because everything was built on a hill and your best ground was always used for your gardens and flakes to dry your fish and whatnot, depending on what area of the province you’re talking about,” said Jones.

“In St. John’s itself the row housing is to save space. It is almost vertical there is that much hill. So it was to save space to get as much family in there as possible.”

The Jellybean look is not unique to just Newfoundland.

“It is just that in Newfoundland, when people land in St. John’s, one of the first things they see are the colourful houses joined together and it is called Jellybean Row.”

Jones says depending on the time of year, the weather on the island can be “ugly.”  

“You’ve got the fog and the drizzle and the ugly, sad depressing weather so people try to paint their houses a little more vibrant so they can see their house through the fog, especially if you’re out in the boat.”

Jones says she continues to receive favourable comments on her colour choices.

“Everyone says ‘Oh, I love how you did your building,’ keeping in mind this building was an awful, sad grey. This building has had several owners. It has been a restaurant, a bait and tackle, a car dealership, someone said it was even a pharmacy at one point. You name it, I think this building has been through it,”  Jones grinned.

“Some people love grey, some people don’t, but when you’re trying to grab the eye, grey is probably not your best choice. And it wasn’t like a steel grey, it was a very sad grey and it just needed some oomph, very badly.”

For Jones, the colours take her back home.

“It takes me back to when I lived in St. John’s. But where I grew up initially, in the central part of Newfoundland, it was an asbestos mining town. We didn’t have colourful houses like this. There was a bay but you didn’t really go down around the beach there.

"It is when I visited my grandmother and we would spend our summers pretty much in a small town about half an hour, or 40 minutes away. And I grew up as a beach rat.  We were always down around the beach. So this brings back memories of home, especially my Nan. All we need now are the two Tomcats and we’re fine,” laughed Jones, who is pleased by the positive reaction to her colour choices.