Inside a former bank built in 1910, in the heart of the village of Petitcodiac, Teri McMackin is hard at work.
She's a virtual assistant, doing everything from building websites to podcast editing for clients all around the world. She's been working remotely for years.
Now she has a new work space, close to home, at the Petitcodiac Community Hub—The Vault.
"I was so excited to hear that it was opening 'cause I used to travel once a week before COVID to go to Moncton to sit in a cafe and work." she said.
"So having a space where I can sit and work and have a little bit of light distraction, I love it."
And "The Vault", as it's known, isn't just any co-working space.
Don Bowser and his wife Varvara Pakhomenko came up with the idea to painstakingly recreate the building's former glory, giving it the feel of a bank in the 1930's or 40's.
"We sourced the tables from the Moncton Cathedral from 1910, stripped them down, remade them. We refurbished all the chairs, our bankers chairs from 1920's to 1960's so we've sourced original furniture as much as possible." Bowser said.
And there's another unique feature, a walk-in vault which can be used as a meeting room, or a place to record a podcast.
During renovations, there was a surprise discovery under a piece of wood inside the vault - it was a smaller safe.
"So on our opening day we had a safe cracker come from Salisbury and he managed to open it up and unfortunately we didn't find any gold or diamonds as we expected." Bowser said with a smile.
"But we did find out it's the first time it's been opened since 1977 when the Bank of Nova Scotia moved out."
The space has been open since Tuesday and there has already been a steady stream of people coming through to see the many antiques.
There is also a meeting room, and Bowser hopes the community will use the facility in the evenings.
There are COVID-19 precautions in place, with masks, sanitizer and a limited number of people allowed in the building at one time. But Bowser says the pandemic has actually helped the business.
"We've already been contacted by a number of people who said that they are very tired of working at home so they need a space. So this pandemic actually works in our favour in terms of our business plan." he said.
Petitcodiac Mayor Gerald Gogan calls Bowser "a doer" and likes the building's new "old" look.
Gogan says the building has been a bank, a call centre, and a flower shop. He's happy with its new purpose.
"It's great that they can provide the services for the people." he said.
Bowser says the idea is to bring people into the village, people who may have driven by in the past.
"I think this is the main point about revitalization of some of these smaller communities is to get people in to see it. Then what happens is people get interested in perhaps moving here." he said.
There are different rates to use the workspace. Memberships run from $125 for a common table to $250 a month for a dedicated rolltop desk. Work space can be rented for $10 a day and there are rates for students.
McMackin likes the light, airy space and the coffee corner, which also features espresso and lattes.
She says co-working space is becoming more common as the workforce changes.
"There's just a whole new wave of workers and we're working differently and we're everywhere." McMackin said.
"We're in these small towns and we're choosing to live in these small towns. If you've got internet, we're here."