By Nikki Velarde, The Belton Journal
The Belton community welcomes a new business, adding another touch of flair that will aid in making Belton the up-and-coming destination spot. Amazing Grace of Texas Bed and Breakfast and Tea Room recently opened their doors and celebrated their grand opening.
Located at 324 North Main Street, Amazing Grace certainly has a great deal to offer. With the building’s historic charm, outdoor gazebo and courtyard, a tea room and gathering areas, three complete master suites with Jacuzzi tubs and heated floors, it creates a stress-free retreat with a nurturing atmosphere.
The house was built in the 1800s by a doctor who saw patients in his practice on the ground level and had his living quarters on the second floor. After the doctor’s passing, the house was donated to the Methodist Church and used for retired pastors. As with most large aging properties, the maintenance and up-keep became too much and the property was sold on the market in a closed-bid.
Unfortunately the purchaser removed 15 doors and windows as well as two fireplaces. Due to these major structural changes, the building was renovated to the point where it could not be placed on the national registry.
In 2006 the current took over the property and spent a great deal of time, money, and effort in order to restore the historical feel to the building. That historic magnetism is what drew in Debra Schwarz, owner of Amazing Grace of Texas Bed and Breakfast.
Schwarz moved into the area last June and since then has had her eyes set on a property to make her dreams of a bed and breakfast and tea room become a reality. “I drove past (the house) and thought ‘this is what I’m looking for’ and that feeling wouldn’t let go,” Schwarz commented. “When I walked into this place it spoke to me…and Belton called to me.”
As someone who has done her fair share of moving and exploring new places, it came as a shock to her father when Schwarz revealed that she had signed the lease to the property.
“I moved in here in December and all I had was a table and a Christmas tree,” Schwarz reminisced. Her father and brother made the trip to Belton to look at the property and were as taken with the house and the community as she was. Instead of leasing only the downstairs, she went all-in on her dream and leased the entire property and signed a 10-year contract with the owner. “I didn’t want to put my heart and soul into something and sign a contract for just 2 to 3 years,” Schwarz explained. She was teaching at Vista College in Killeen but quit her job in order to commit to her goal and her dream full-time.
“I believe in supporting local businesses. I want to get involved in this community and people have been very accepting of me, they have been excited and are willing to help in any way shape or form to help get this off the ground and running. I feel that this is where I’m supposed to be.” In the near future, Schwarz is hoping to work out package deals with some of the nearby Belton businesses. Not only does she hope this will help support the local businesses, but that it will also add to the sense of unity within the Belton community.
“When I came here and could see the unity, I felt this is going to work,” Schwarz explained. “If you’ve got people believing in the same dream you have, it’ll happen. I’m very excited. Belton is exploding and it’s already starting to build up its momentum and I can see us going really far with this.”
A bed and breakfast “is something this community doesn’t have right now but fits right in with the feel,” Schwarz explains. “The location is perfect because it’s within walking distance to the historic district and Nolan Creek.” Belton already “has everything that a bed and breakfast needs. It blends in with what the community has to offer.”
“I want this to be a nurturing nest,” said Schwarz. “I want people to feel comfortable and safe here. A place that the people can come sit and relax and have some quiet time for themselves, and there’s not that many places you can go that will have that.”
Going along with her love of birds, each of the three master suites have a different theme to include the sparrows nest, bluebird, and whispering dove. Of course we can’t forget about the gathering nest on the ground floor.
“I think birds are nurturing,” commented Schwarz. “I’m like the momma bird here taking care of everybody and that’s what I wanted to create a sort of nest for people to come and get away.” It’s a retreat and an escape, she explains, “I want this to be special, a place where memories are made.”
Amazing Grace certainly offers a variety of options. It is the perfect location for a small bridal shower, birthday party, seminar, business luncheon, bible study, or support group meeting. The tea room can seat up to 30 people where you can enjoy teas, pastries, and lunch, or it can be rented out for a private tea party. “I want this whole place to be used for whatever people need,” Schwarz commented. “I want it to be a nurturing and gathering place for people. I want to provide a place that nobody else has. It’s very different from most places.”
The tea room is currently open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11-2, Saturdays by reservations only, and Sundays 2-5.
Each month, there will be a different Tea Party theme and menu. Debra Schwarz and Lynea Umen cordially invite you to this months’ tea party; Sassy and Hip Strawberry Rose.
Amazing Grace will also offer a small salon for additional pampering to include hair, manicure, and pedicures “which is perfect for a bridal party,” said Schwarz who will also provide brunch for the bridal party the morning of the wedding.
The overnight weekend rate is $250 per night and includes a full breakfast in the tea room on Saturday morning and coffee, tea, and pastries on Sunday. The weekday rates for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday is $129 per night and includes wine and cheese in the evening.
If you ever feel the need for some time away for a mini-vacation, Amazing Grace also offers a Me-Time package where you can take some special time for yourself to relax, pamper, and refresh.
“It’s just all coming together,” Schwarz confessed. “God is blessing me in so many different ways. He’s put the right people in my life.”
Amazing Grace is not just a place to stay the night; it’s a retreat, an escape, and an experience all its own in a stress-free environment. Stop by to see what it’s all about or contact Debra for more information at (254) 831-5057.