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Local Business News

Small Business Showcase: Leiby’s Carriage Service

A horse-drawn carriage ride is a gift for someone who has everything!

This festive season, we’re spotlighting the local gems that are the lifeblood of our community in our Coal Region Canary Christmas Small Business Showcase.

We reveal the inspiring tales of our local entrepreneurs and showcase their exceptional products—ideal for spreading joy with your holiday gifts. Embrace the spirit of the season by shopping local and making a difference! 🎄🎁

Business NameLeiby's Carriage Service LLC
Business OwnersMarisa Marmas and Eric "Midge" Marmas
AddressValley Road, Tamaqua, PA, 18252
Business Phone Number+1 570-590-6514
Websiteleibyscarriageservice.com
Facebookfacebook.com/leibysbelgians
Hours of OperationAs scheduled.
Special Holiday HoursAs scheduled.
Description of Products and ServicesHorse drawn carriage service
Year EstablishedLate 1980s
Unique Features and SpecialtiesHorse drawn carriage services for all occasions featuring Belgian Draft horses. Sleigh rides on the farm.
Payment Methods AcceptedCash, check, credit card

Q&A with Leiby’s Carriage Service owners Marisa and Eric Marmas

Learn more about Leiby’s Carriage Service …

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What inspired you to start this business, and how did your personal journey lead you here?
“Leiby’s Carriage Service was founded in 1986 by Raynor and Joan Leiby in Tamaqua. Raynor was a lifelong farmer, commercial airline pilot, and Belgian Draft horse aficionado. Upon retirement from the airline, Raynor, with his wife Joan, took their love of these ‘gentle giants’ to start a horse-drawn carriage service that bared their name. The ‘Leiby Horses’ as they became known, became local celebrities and were often seen providing trolley rides in local communities for all types of events, escorting locals in parades, bringing Santa Claus to town for community tree lightings and pulling an antique fire engine steamer in the local fireman’s parade. We proudly worked with Yuengling Brewery, America’s Oldest Brewery, by pulling their late 1800s replica beer wagon as well as Heisler’s Dairy Bar pulling an antique milk delivery wagon. In 2014, my husband and I stepped in to manage the service. We took over all aspects of caring for the horses, vet care, horse shoeing, farming the hay, and managing the bookings, clients, and insurances. In November 2019, we fulfilled their dream and purchased the business – deciding to keep the name in honor of its founders. In 2021 and 2022, Leiby’s Carriage Service LLC was voted ‘Best Family Entertainment’ in Schuylkill County by the Reader’s Choice Awards in the Republican Herald newspaper.”

What unique products or services do you offer that can’t be found elsewhere in our community?
“Can’t get much more unique than coming down the road with 2 tons of horses!”

How does your business contribute to the local community or participate in community events?
“We herald ourselves as ‘Your Community Carriage Service’. It’s important to us to share our horses with the public so they can see how wonderful these gentle giants are and also provide lasting and unique memories for anyone who takes a ride with us. Most people have never seen horses as big as ours up close and we take the opportunity to share facts about the Belgians. We work hard to educate people and we hope to ignite a spark of interest in horses and farming for younger generations.”

Can you share an interesting fact or story about your business that most people may not know?
“We shoe our own horses! When the pandemic hit in 2020, we lost 98% of our work since communities stopped their public events. Like most small businesses at that time, we struggled to make ends meet. But, taking care of animals never stops and at the time, we had a wonderful farrier (horseshoer) who began showing Midge how to trim our horses’ hooves. He learned how to nail on shoes, shape and heat horseshoes, etc and by being able to do this vital task, it helped us save thousands of dollars over the years.”

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a small business, and how did you overcome it?
“Horses are a 365 day a year commitment. The public may see us for a few hours at an event but what they don’t see are the long hours put into getting us there. Making hay, tending to sick or injured horses, feeding, chores, maintenance on the barn and machines, training horses, etc – all while working full time day jobs! The most difficult and devastating part of the business is losing a horse. While they may be considered a pet, in reality, they are our partners. We strive to give them the best life possible and each one will live out their life on our farm, even when they can no longer work.”

What do you want customers to experience when they interact with your business?
“We want our customers to leave with a smile and a ‘wow’! My husband and I are very interactive with all of our guests and we talk about our horses, their care and maintenance, fun facts, singalongs and even trivia!”

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Submitted photos by Marisa Marmas

What are your future plans or dreams for your business? Are there any upcoming projects or expansions you’re excited about?
“We intend to continue bringing our horses into our communities and creating memories!”

What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business in our community?
“No one is going to love what you do more than you, so don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! Believe in yourself, trust your gut and keep on grinding.”

What does your business offer that would make a great gift for the holiday season?
“When your loved one has it all, give them the gift of a private horse-drawn carriage ride!”

***

COAL REGION CANARY SUPPORTS SHOP LOCAL!

Make your business part of our Small Business Showcase. Click or tap here to find the form to submit your business for a profile just like this one!

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Check out all the businesses who’ve participated in our Showcase so far …

Hydrangea CottageLeiby's Carriage ServiceThe Maid's Quarters
Archangel CreationsCards by JessiPressed Coffee & Books
Sughr & CompanyLucy & Leigh

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