Culture

Staying at Home in Woodstock - Red Kite Candy

 

Today we are delighted to share our interview with Caila McCabe of Red Kite Candy.   

*If you're just finding our "Staying at Home in Woodstock" series, welcome! During the COVID-19 crisis, we are connecting with local businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-profits to help encourage and support one another through this difficult time.  Please contact us directly if you would like to be featured!*

 

Who are you and where do you live?

I’m Caila McCabe and I live in Thetford, VT.

What do you do? For how long have you been doing it?

I’m the Brand Manager at Red Kite Candy. I’ve been in this role for 2 years now, but involved in the family business for about 6 years.

How has your life and livelihood changed in the time of Covid-19?

Most of the ways our lives have changed are things everyone recognizes, like worrying about older friends and family members, and changing shopping habits. We washing all of our deliveries now, only family members are allowed in to our facility…but when put in perspective, I’m mostly grateful for what hasn’t changed.

What is the most important thing that people can do to help support you and/or your business?

Place an order online at redkitecandy.com. Right now, for every purchase over $25, we’re giving a gift to frontline healthcare workers on your behalf. You can include a message that we’ll handwrite. You can choose from several hospitals who have agreed to receive and distribute these gifts. Especially with Mother’s Day coming up, this is a great time to give a gift because it will instantly generate another gift to a healthcare worker.

What changes do you hope to see in a post-quarantine world?

I hope people can keep up this bootstrapping spirit. Not all of these problems or opportunities will go away with the virus. There’s always a need for innovation, compassion, and just making the most of each day. 

Thank you, Caila! We love your bootstrapping spirit, and we're thankful for everyone who makes this world a little sweeter.  

Staying at Home in Woodstock - Unicorn

 

Today, we are interviewing Jeffrey Kahn, owner of one of Woodstock's most iconic shops - UNICORN

*If you're just finding our "Staying at Home in Woodstock" series, welcome! During the COVID-19 crisis, we are connecting with local businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-profits to help encourage and support one another through this difficult time.  Please contact us directly if you would like to be featured.*

 

Who are you and where do you live?

Jeffrey Kahn.....I live in beautiful Woodstock, Vt.

(Note: Not Woodstock!)

What do you do? For how long have you been doing it? 

I own and operate UNICORN, an eclectic gift store, which I opened in 1978 - so, for 42 years.

How has your life and livelihood changed in the time of Covid-19?

My life has fluctuated between Groundhog Day (the movie) and The Twilight Zone in the time of covid-19. My livelihood has diminished to a trickle.

What is the most important thing that people can do to help support you and/or your business?

If people would like to help there are a few avenues, all of which start with a call to UNICORN at (802)457-2480. You  can purchase a gift card for eventual use, or I can take you on a virtual tour of the store via FaceTime, which can be a lot of fun (no charge for my commentary). We offer shipping and curbside service (you can knock at the door and I'll hand you a bag - but you can't come in!). You can view a lot of our videos @unicornvt on Instagram and Facebook. I'm generally in the store Mon-Sat from 9:30 to 5 these days, so please call or leave a message and I'll call back - I get lonely here!

What changes do you hope to see in a post-quarantine world?

In a post-quarantine world I expect folks hands will remain a lot cleaner and people will be more careful about getting into tight places with lots of faces. I also hope we develop a deeper appreciation for how fragile and valuable our lives are and perhaps we can transfer that same appreciation to our precious planet and governments start to take healing our planet more seriously and urgently.

Thank you, Jeffrey - we couldn't agree more.  Here's to that post-quarantine world! 

*All photos from UNICORN

Staying at Home in Woodstock - Heart Rock Kitchen

 

Today, we interviewed one of Woodstock's most beloved caterers, Claire Mayock of Heart Rock Kitchen!  

*If you're just finding our "Staying at Home in Woodstock" series, welcome! During the COVID-19 crisis, we are connecting with local businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-profits to help encourage and support one another through this difficult time.  Please contact us directly if you would like to be featured.*

 

Who are you and where do you live?

Claire Mayock, South Woodstock

What do you do? 

I have a catering business and an event and restaurant space in Woodstock - Heart Rock Kitchen

How has your life and livelihood changed in the time of Covid-19?

My last event was on March 14th before the closing of restaurants and the Shelter in Place order was issued. Since then all but two of my events have been cancelled or postponed through the month of August. At this point, even when we are allowed to reopen, the social distancing order and limited number of patrons allowed in the building at once will severely limit the types of events I can book.

What is the most important thing that people can do to help support you and/or your business?

Woodstock is a unique place. I feel so fortunate to live in an area where it is easy to go outside, take a walk, work in the garden, and have fresh, local produce and markets available. People are kind, caring and supportive. I am so appreciative of all those who reached out to check on me and ask if there is anything they can do to help. 

What changes do you hope to see in a post-quarantine world? 

My hope is that when we are allowed to reopen and we move towards a new normal, as a community, we will continue to support our local businesses as now more than ever we have seen how vital they are.

Claire, we can't wait to attend your next event or a Wednesday Night Dinner!  Until then, visit Claire's website to plan a post-covid celebration!  

Staying at Home in Woodstock - MoonRise Therapeutics

 

Today we are delighted to share our interview with DJ Jesser of MoonRise Therapeutics!  

*If you're just finding our "Staying at Home in Woodstock" series, welcome! During the COVID-19 crisis, we are connecting with local businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-profits to help encourage and support one another through this difficult time.  Please contact us directly if you would like to be featured!*

 

Who are you and where do you live?

DJ Jesser and I live in Taftsville.

What do you do? 

I work as a clinical social worker to help people know their worth, see their own goodness and gifts, and find belonging and hope in life. 

Since 2002, I have partnered with horses to do this work as they are much better at it than I am. 

In 2019, a group of us began a non-profit called MoonRise Therapeutics, which I direct, in hopes that this work will be sustainable into the future.  At MoonRise Therapeutics we offer therapeutic and educational experiences that foster self-discovery, empowerment, and build emotional resiliency by bringing together highly skilled clinical and equine professionals, a herd of well-loved horses, and a nurturing environment.  

MoonRise helps to transform life experiences through partnership with our horses. The programs are small and flexible, operating during the spring, summer and fall seasons. We work hard to design individual and group programming that meets the specific needs of our clients. Once a client understands the role of the horse they are usually very content to engage and relax around horses. It becomes easy to find joy in their presence. Unlike other forms of therapy, equine facilitated therapy has no stigma attached to it. It is easy to open up quickly since the horses don’t judge or criticize. Horses invite us to show up exactly how we are in the present moment and to get curious around improving our own mental health.  

For how long have you been doing it? 

I began wilderness education/counseling/social justice work in 1979 and received my masters in social work in 1985.

How has your life and livelihood changed in the time of Covid-19?   

For MoonRise Therapeutics, this has enabled us to work on shoring up infrastructure and working on strategic planning. In terms of our programs and clinical work these are hard times with a lot of mental health needs. We have had to close our farm, cancel programs and put some fundraising activities on hold. We are continuing our clinical work virtually but truly miss the horse presence which offers grounding, calming and non judgmental connection for clients that is so needed during these unprecedented times.  We are trying our best to meet all the need but requests for services are great. 

For myself and probably many others, it is a bit challenging being online so much!  As time allows for, I try to get outside hiking and biking which I love.  Focusing on gratitude in relation to myself, others and our earth has been an important connection point for me during these times. Throughout the day I try to notice things to be grateful for and this has a way of transforming what is difficult, into something manageable and an opportunity for moving forward. 

What is the most important thing that people can do to help support you and/or your business?

Spread the word of our work at MoonRise, follow us on instagram at @moonrt802 or like us on facebook, Moonrise Farm, volunteer once we re-open or help us raise funds to meet the demand for services. Fundraising is on-going and the smallest donation can help a person receive services. Moonrisetherapeutics.org/donation or email us to sign up as a volunteer, moonrisetherapeutics@gmail.com.

What changes do you hope to see in a post-quarantine world?

A more "horse wise world" where we recognize that our survival depends on the "health of our herd."  There are no "put downs," instead each of us can step up and play our part, enabling all of us to become more than the sum of our parts.

Thank you, DJ! Here's to a more horse-wise future.  

Staying at Home in Woodstock - Clover Gift Shop

 

Today we're happy to chat with PJ Eames of Clover Gift Shop!

 

*If you're just finding our "Staying at Home in Woodstock" series, welcome! During the COVID-19 crisis, we are connecting with local businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-profits to help encourage and support one another through this difficult time.  Please contact us directly if you would like to be featured.*

 

Who are you and where do you live? 

I’m Patricia (PJ) Eames and I live in Woodstock VT with my family; Jared, Caitlin, & Hannah. 

What do you do? For how long have you been doing it?  

I own Clover Gift Shop in the Village of Woodstock.  I’ve owned Clover for just over 12 years.

How has your life and livelihood changed in the time of Covid-19? 

Well, my store has been closed since March 16, so life has changed quite a bit.  Clover is where I used to normally spend 60+ hours per week,  but I’m now there maybe 4-5 hours per week to fill online orders & orders for curbside pickup.  

The majority of my time is spent at home, teaching my daughters, ages 5 & 7.  I am worried about the future, financially speaking, of course, but I’ve realized that this situation is out of my control, so I am trying to focus on the positive.  It always seems as though life is going by too quickly, and now I have a chance to slow down and spend quality time with my family.  

What is the most important thing that people can do to help support you and/or your business? 

Right now, ordering from our website is a huge support, also ordering gift cards for future use is a big help.   Our entire website is 25% off until we are able to re-open the store.  We have worked with several customers to put together awesome gift/care packages. Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and we’d be more than happy to put together some gifts for mom!!

What changes do you hope to see in a post-quarantine world?

I hope that people are more conscientious about where they are spending their money.  Small businesses are really struggling right now, but thankfully we are also seeing a tremendous outpouring of support.  People are shopping differently, trying to support their neighborhood businesses, and we need that to continue when this pandemic is gone from the headlines.  It will be a very long time until things get back to “normal”, and it will most likely be a very different normal.  The support of small businesses once the economy starts re-opening is going to be key to our survival.

Thanks, PJ - we can't wait to see your doors open once again! 

Photos from the Clover website and Woodstock Magazine

Staying at Home in Woodstock - Abracadabra Coffee Co.

 

We are excited to share today's interview with Clint Hunt, founder of Abracadabra Coffee Co

*If you're just finding our "Staying at Home in Woodstock" series, welcome! During the COVID-19 crisis, we are connecting with local businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-profits to help encourage and support one another through this difficult time.  Please contact us directly if you would like to be featured.*

Who are you and where do you live?

I am Clint Hunt and I live in Woodstock, VT

What do you do? For how long have you been doing it?

I am the founder of Abracadabra Coffee Co. The business started in 2015. 

How has your life and livelihood changed in the time of Covid-19?

When you own a small business, your life and livelihood are very much intertwined! The daily life of the business has completely changed, but the foundations of creativity, flexibility and resilience remain the same. Some parts of the business have been restricted, but we've taken that as an opportunity to expand in other areas. Until Covid-19, every weekend we would open our roastery to the public and serve a full coffee menu with pastries. Our retail hours are suspended until further notice, so we're putting our resources into promoting our coffee online and engaging with people through social media. 

What is the most important thing that people can do to help support you and/or your business?

The best way for folks near and far to support us right now, is to check out our website and treat themselves, or a friend, to some delicious single origin coffee! We are offering a pick up option for locals, and everything on our site is currently 15% off. If you live locally, you can find our whole bean coffee and cold brew cans at the Hanover Co-op Food Stores, Woodstock Farmer's Market, JUEL  Modern Apothecary. In the Burlington area look for us at City Market, and Healthy Living. 

What changes do you hope to see in a post-quarantine world?

There has been a huge community response to this crisis. Though we are physically distant, everybody is coming together to help out. I hope to see and and be a part of further cultivating that supportive and collaborative culture. 

Clint, we can't wait for coffee and waffles on some sunny day soon.  Until then, we'll just enjoy our Abracadabra coffee from the comforts of quarantine! 

**All photos courtesy of Abracadabra's social media***

Staying at Home in Woodstock - The Thompson Senior Center

 

Today we are delighted to share our interview with Deanna Jones, executive director of The Thompson Senior Center.

*If you're just finding our "Staying at Home in Woodstock" series, welcome! During the COVID-19 crisis, we are connecting with local businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-profits to help encourage and support one another through this difficult time.  Please contact us directly if you would like to be featured!*

Who are you and where do you live?  

Deanna Jones. I live on 26 beautiful acres in Pomfret with my husband, Rob, and our four children, ages 4 -16.  We have been here for 19 years.

What do you do? For how long have you been doing it? 

I’m lucky to have my dream job as the executive director of The Thompson Senior Center in Woodstock. We make sure older community members have the resources they need to age well at home --  whether that means home-delivered Meals on Wheels, wellness classes, transportation, fun activities, life-long learning opportunities, medical equipment after surgery, or referrals to vetted service providers.  I’ve been at The Thompson for almost 10 years and love the staff and the connections we have with our older community members.

How has your life and livelihood changed in the time of Covid-19?

It feels like all normal life was paused and all of our energy was immediately shifted to providing meals and keeping our older Vermonters safe from exposure to Covid-19.  Normally, a big part of our energy is focused on keeping people from being socially isolated and the risks associated with isolation.  This isolation is the opposite of what we usually want for our older community members but is now a necessity.   It is not a shift that we like, but I’m super happy about The Thompson staff’s flexibility in serving our community together.  We’re having many phone visits with our patrons, delivering groceries, working with community emergency teams and volunteers, providing many more home-delivered meals, giving out puzzles/books and donated newspapers, and hosting some online classes too.  We’re a group that makes the most of things.   My personal life has changed with 4 children at home, but I’m thankful that both my husband and I have “essential” jobs that we can juggle time and be at home on alternate days.  The teachers and school programs have been well-organized, and our children are all adjusting to the changes pretty well (especially our dog).  

What is the most important thing that people can do to help support you and/or your business?

We’ve received a huge outpouring of love and support over the past month. Younger community members have stepped forward to deliver Meals on Wheels so that our older volunteers could be given this time off (only three of thirty of our previous Meals on Wheels volunteers were under age 75).  We have people volunteering to shop for groceries and even have received donated eggs from Pete and Gerry’s and other farm donations, too.   We’ve received homemade mask donations and financial support that are keeping us safe and going strong.   As this situation drags on, we really appreciate the continued financial support – not only are our expenses higher with more packaging, food, and gloves, but we’re not able to do our normal fundraising events, like dinner programs, that help support our operations throughout the year.  (Readers may VOLUNTEER or DONATE through the Thompson's website.)

What changes do you hope to see in a post-quarantine world?

I hope to see:

  • Community connections continue, and younger people continuing to deliver Meals on Wheels along with older people,
  • Emergency plans in place and improved for future situations,
  • Recognition and celebration of the impact that our older community members have on our communities, and
  • Recognition throughout the state and nationally that Senior Centers are an essential service.  Currently, senior centers in Vermont and many states do not receive any state or federal funding for administration or operations except for a limited amount per meal (1/3 the cost of the meals), but research shows that senior center participants have higher levels of health, social interaction, and life satisfaction. I hope after all this, it is more broadly recognized what a thriving, well-supported senior center can accomplish and contribute to their community. 

Thank you, Deanna, for all that you and The Thompson Senior Center are doing to keep our community well and fed during this difficult time. Visit the website to learn more, volunteer, or donate!  

Comments

  1. cynthia hewitt on

    Deanna Jones is an amazing leader of the Woodstock Council on Aging and Sr. Center. She and her staff keep a large number of sr. citizens in woodstock, barnard, pomfret, bridgewater and taftsville fed and entertained and taught and challenged 5 days a week; all year around. I'm so lucky to have "found" her when i returned to the woodstock area. i enjoy every minute i spend at our beautiful facility and so enjoy the family i have found there. Bravo.

    Staying at Home in Woodstock - The Yankee Bookshop

    While we all may feel like we're living in the pages of a dystopian apocalyptic novel, few things are more appealing than being able to escape with an actual novel - thankfully still provided by our friendly local purveyor, The Yankee Bookshop.

    Who are you and where do you live? 

    Kari Meutsch & Kristian Preylowski, currently living in Bridgewater

    What do you do? For how long have you been doing it?

    We own and run The Yankee Bookshop. It's now been just over 3 years since we became the 8th owners of the shop.

    How has your life and livelihood changed in the time of Covid-19?

    Things are definitely different. Business is down for us, just like everywhere else. Our community continues to support us as best they can, but now it's through website orders and emails instead of those face-to-face meetings. Our store was built for browsing & discovering titles you didn't know about, so now we're doing even more recommending than ever before. We've had to change our website to help fill that "discovery" void, and it's been an interesting challenge. But so far we feel like we're staying on top of things and still able to provide information and escape to anyone who wants it. 

    What is the most important thing that people can do to help support you and/or your business?

    Gift cards are the best way to support any business right now. They work as an investment so we can pay bills, and it's the promise that you will come back and see us when this is all over. The next best thing is to purchase the books that we already have on our shelves. We can still do special orders for individuals as needed, but the books on our shelves are already paid for and therefore incur less new costs. We're also encouraging anyone who can to place orders through our website, because that allows for the streamlining of processes on our end.

    What changes do you hope to see in a post-quarantine world?

    We're hoping that this is a chance for people to adjust their online habits, to realize that many of your favorite local spots do have websites (we've had ours for nearly 2 years) and so online shopping doesn't have to go only toward giant retailers - it actually can stay within your community. Another, more general hope is that we take this pause and realize that we can all slow down a bit in our daily routines, and that when this is all over we continue to be so thoughtful and considerate toward our neighbors in the community. It's been amazing to see the outpouring of support for local organizations and between individuals. Let's keep it up on the other side of all of this.

    Thank you, Kari and Kristian, for helping us find new worlds to enjoy while we try to find our way in this one; we'll look forward to browsing your shelves in person soon!  

    Staying at Home in Woodstock - The Blue Horse Inn

    During the COVID-19 crisis, we are interviewing local businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-profits to see how they are adapting to life in these strange, frightening, and isolating times.  We are continually impressed by the ways in which our community members are facing these challenges with creativity and courage.  Today, we talk with Jill and Tony Amato, of The Blue Horse Inn.  

    Who are you and where do you live?

    Jill and Tony Amato, 3 Church St Woodstock, VT aka The Blue Horse Inn

    What do you do? For how long have you been doing it? 

    We own and operate The Blue Horse Inn, a ten-guest room Bed and Breakfast in Woodstock, VT.  We have been in business for about a year and a half.

    How has your life and livelihood changed in the time of Covid-19?

    Our business has been closed since the State shut down all lodging operations a few weeks ago.  Like any other B&B or lodging operation, we rely solely on guests coming to town and staying with us while visiting Woodstock and the surrounding area.  Without guests, there is no revenue, just expenses. It is also difficult to be socially separated from such a special community here in Woodstock. The lack of daily personal interaction creates such a void in one’s life.  We’ve been using this time to catch up on maintenance projects and spring cleaning, plus Tony continues to work as a benefits consultant to his clients.  We’ve also been talking to family members on the phone, reading, creating artwork, exercising and watching Netflix.

    What is the most important thing that people can do to help support you and/or your business?

    We are grateful for the support of the community during this time however there really isn’t anything people can do to support us other than book reservations once the virus is under control. 

    What changes do you hope to see in a post-quarantine world?

    Hopefully a Government that is more prepared and capable of mitigating pandemics immediately.  The lack of action and leadership when the virus first came out and the innuendo that it would “go away when the weather warms up” has cost American lives and millions of jobs.

    We will look forward to seeing full guest rooms at the Blue Horse Inn once again; until then, visit their website and plan your next trip to Woodstock! 

    Photos by Jessica Notargiacomo and Cindy Starr.