by Morri Mostow
Wood and Westland Launch Unique Travel Business
A shared passion for travel, a desire to be self-employed and their respect for the culture and ecology of the Eastern Townships led to the launch of Wood & Westland. Described by co-founder Trish Wood as “civilized travel for the well-heeled” and on their excellent website as a “guide to style and adventure tours,” their company creates unique five- or six-day all-inclusive guided tours for small groups of travelers to the Townships. They also create customized, self-guided itineraries for small groups with their own transportation. Five years in the planning, the launch of this new venture coincides with the retreat of the competition — international companies like Butterfield & Robinson, who used to run bike tours in the area — leaving the field open to others.
On fixed dates during the upcoming summer season, Wood & Westland will offer three types of guided tours: a biking and walking tour that starts in Dunham and travels through Sutton, Bolton Centre and Magog to Orford, with a half-day break at the newly opened Bolton Falls Spa in Bolton Centre; a gourmet wine-and-dine tour through local vineyards and renowned eateries; and a relaxing scenic tour of the some of the area’s most picturesque and historic villages. Their winter tour introduces the varied skiing locales in the region: a “five peaks in five days” ski package. The company also offers planning for business meetings and events.
“We want to promote the uniqueness of the Township as a tourist destination but we want to safeguard the area too,” explains Wood. “That’s why our tours will be very small and easy on the environment. We also want to educate our clients about the area’s history, culture and bio-diversity.” To this end, they will use guest lecturers and “ambassadors” (for their ski tour) and, as they grow, only hire guides with a passion for the Townships.
The founders of Wood & Westland bring complimentary skills to their new venture. Now in her fifth term as mayor of East Bolton, Joan Westland is an experienced administrator, a former United Nations delegate and an expert in such social policy issues as employment equity and barrier-free design (for wheelchair access to buildings). Daughter of Knowlton businessman and former Knowlton Pub owner Gerry Wood, Trish Wood is a sports enthusiast who has recently returned home to Knowlton after several years working out West in adventure travel. She is finally realizing her dream to live and work in her beloved Townships.
Wood & Westland at (450) 292-3030 or 1-866-858-3030.Visit their suberb website at: www.woodandwestland.com
Devoted to Scotties
Cindy Moynan has created a line of ceramic Scottie products inspired by her Scottish Terriers, Angus and Whiskey. And she is selling them on her new website, appropriately dubbed devotedtoscotties.com.
Moynan has been doing very well with her cindystiles.com website, where she sells her regular line of handmade ceramics (custom ceramic tiles, teapots, etc.). Creating a Scottie site was a natural extension to her growing Web expertise. This time, her website also features handmade Scottie items by other artisans: Hand-painted wooden door knobs by Kara Needham, from Bolton Centre, and wooden carvings from Doug Purdy, of Verdun, share the online catalog with Moynan’s ceramic spoon holder, jug, butter dish, soap dish, drawer pulls, teapot, trivet, figurines and tiles. Other local artisans will soon be adding their Scottie-motif wares to the site.
The devoted-to-Scotties site grew out of Moynan’s involvement with the Canadian Scottish Terrier Club. To help raise money for the Scottie rescue operation, she donated a few of her ceramic Scottie items, which she had produced in limited editions for the last Tour des Arts. “They were such a big hit,” said Moynan, “ that people started calling me and ordering more.”
The Scottie site has only been up a week and orders are already arriving by e-mail. “Many Scottie owners collect mass-produced Scottie items so they are very excited about the handmade, one-of-a-kind products available on my site.” To meet the demand, Moynan is also producing – for sale on the Web only! – limited-edition Scottie dishes and lamps in time for Christmas. Look for those items on the site around October.
Of course, Moynan doesn’t limit herself to Scotties. She also gets orders for custom platters featuring all kinds of dogs. “Dog owners are a breed a part,” says Moynan with a laugh. Indeed!
Cindy Moynan can be reached at (450) 243-0681. www.devotedtoscotties.com
For less $25 a week, you can enjoy a basket of fresh-picked, seasonal produce for 15 consecutive weeks, beginning the first week of July. The vegetables, herbs and fruit come from the market garden of Ferme l’Abondance in Dunham, which practices ecological and sustainable farming — no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers — and should receive its organic certification within a few years. The contents of the basket, enough for two to four people, vary as the season progresses: radishes, baby bok choy and buttercrunch lettuce early in the summer give way to arugula, kohlrabi and cucumbers, mid-season, then to winter squash, brussel sprouts and tomatoes later on.
This is the farm’s second season of Community Supported Agriculture, a partnership between the producers and consumers. Customers contract for the entire 15-week harvest in advance (in two installments of $175 each) and are required to pick up their basket each week — or send a friend to do it for them.
Baskets can be picked up at the farm itself (on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoons) or in Knowlton every Wednesday evening between 5 and 6 p.m., in the parking lot of Hurricane Grace (first delivery, July 3).
An informative brochure with an attached sign up form is available at Hurricane Grace. The deadline for this year’s harvest is April 30.
Ferme l’Abondance, 986 Favreau, Dunham. Tel: (450) 295-1351. Knowlton pick up in Hurricane Grace’s parking lot, corner of Knowlton and Mt. Echo Roads.