Blog :: 04-2020

Staying at Home in Woodstock - The Woodstocker B&B

 

We are excited to share today's interview with Karim and Isabelle, owners of The Woodstocker B & B

*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? 

We are Isabelle Chicoine and Karim Houry. We live in Woodstock.

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

We own and operate the Woodstocker B&B since March of 2018.

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

We had to close our B&B since March 17 - we lost all the revenue we would normally have had since March. What’s more, we are not seeing any future bookings coming in as people are holding off on making any travel plans for the time being. Since our business model is based on a 50% deposit upon booking, this further impacts our cash flow. We had to ask our housekeeper to go on unemployment.

We’ve been offering breakfast-to-go to the community with curbside pick up. It brings in a little bit of cash and helps us keep a semblance of normalcy, with a daily routine and some customer interaction on the phone and through a glass door. We are also working on projects to improve the B&B. We are also involved in some community outreach efforts.

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

They can follow us and interact with our posts on Facebook and Instagram -- that’s a morale booster for us! They can also purchase Gift Certificates for future stays (redeemable by friends and family members, or for themselves as a staycation).  And they can order our breakfast-to-go and get a literal taste of The Woodstocker at (802) 457-3896.

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

We’ve noticed that the quarantine has brought people closer together, paradoxically. People spend more time checking on each other via phone, interacting through various video tools with friends and family who are across the nation or the world -- or just next door. They think more about what really matters. They feel and express compassion for those on the frontlines of the epidemic and those who are more exposed. We hope that this higher degree of humanity will carry on when we all resume business-as-usual.

Thank you, Isabelle and Karim!  We can't wait for you to open your doors once more, but - until then - we HIGHLY recommend ordering some OMG Chocolate Melts while you can!  

*Photos courtesy of Isabelle and Karim and The Woodstocker website*

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 - Woodstock Dentistry

     

    Today we are pleased to feature our interview with Mark Knott of Woodstock Dentistry.

    *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?  

    Mark Knott, DDS. I live in West Woodstock with my wife Rachel Hochman, and my practice is at The Mill in the East End of Woodstock. 

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

    I’ve been a dentist in Woodstock for 13 years this May. We moved from the Ottaquechee Health Center to The Mill in April of 2015. April 17, 2020 is our fifth anniversary at The Mill building. It’s a wonderful, light-filled location overlooking the Billings Farm and its hay fields.  

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

    My livelihood has changed significantly. I temporarily closed my practice on March 17, 2020, following the executive order of Governor Phil Scott. Because it was unclear when we would be allowed to reopen, at that time, I laid off my seven employees, who I consider both family, coworkers, and friends. I can only see emergency patients at this time for severe bleeding or pain, but I’m not really even supposed to see them, but instead practice “tele-dentistry,” however, I’m not really sure what that is! It’s difficult to have no income when there is still office overhead and personal bills. This is the first time I’ve sought assistance from state and federal agencies. I’ve been working since I was 10 when I started mowing lawns. I miss my patients, and co-workers. 

    On a positive note, I’m taking long walks with my wife and dogs, getting lots of projects done around our home, sheep farm and vegetable garden, and riding my bike and horse. I’m spending lots of time outside, and cooking a lot more. I am very grateful to live where we do, in this beautiful state of Vermont. 

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

    1. Return  to us for your dental care - you can check for updates on our website: https://www.woodstockdentistry.com/

    2. Trust that your safety, in terms of infection control, is paramount to our values. We are already taking steps to ensure additional safety measures for our return. 

    3. Support other local businesses!

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

    After this quarantine, I’m hoping to see stronger community connections.

    We couldn't agree more, Dr. Knott!  In the meantime, we will look forward to visiting you and your team at The Mill.

    All photos courtesy of Dr. Knott's website: www.woodstockdentistry.com

    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. 

    Staying at Home in Woodstock - Rebecca and Jay Nash

    Today, we're interviewing local entrepreneurs Jay and Rebecca Nash.  A musician and a physical therapist, they have met the challenges of working in the time of corona uniquely and creatively.  

    Who are you and where do you live?  

    My name is Jay Nash.  I live in Hartland, Vermont.

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

    I am a singer, a songwriter, a composer of music for television, film and advertising and a producer of records.  I’ve been making music for a living for 22 years.

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

    Well…this Spring, my band, The Contenders had a tour lined up that was set to be the biggest and most significant of our career in terms of audience reach and gross revenue.  That got blown out of the water.  Touring has been a huge part of my career - both in respect to the income and exposure that it generates and because of the inspiration gleaned from the experience of sharing music with live audiences.

    Since the first shelter in place orders in the country were announced, I have been performing regular weekly live streaming concerts in my studio (you can find the schedule at https://www.jaynash.com/).  I tiptoed into this world reluctantly at first, but the entire experience has grown on me immensely.  There were many technical challenges that needed to be sorted out before I could focus singularly on the songs and achieving an emotional connection with an audience that I couldn’t actually see.  That took some time, but for the most part, I think that I have it figured out now.  The online shows have really come to feel like connected experiences.  It’s a beautiful thing to see familiar names and faces turning up from all over the world in a single (virtual) venue.

    Since this whole thing began, I have felt more acutely aware of the healing power of music than perhaps ever before in my life.  I feel a sense of duty to make my music available (for free) to anyone who my find comfort in it.  So - I my online shows are all available to experience for free as are high resolution audio recordings of each performance.  People have not been shy about expressing their appreciation with stories of how various songs and performances have impacted their lives.  That has been extremely rewarding.

    I do accept virtual tips/donations on my social media platforms during the shows, but I really don’t want anyone to feel obligated to spend money in order to enjoy the music.  I’m confident that the folks who can, will.  I remain optimistic that it will all work out just find if we set out to give more than we receive.

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

    Spread the word about the online performances, visit the online store, stream my music, sign the mailing list - https://www.jaynash.com/.

    What changes do you hope to see in a post-quarantine world? I’ve been ruminating on the idea that we have been sent to our rooms by the Universe to think about our relationship with our planet and each other. In a lot of ways, prior to this, we were collectively spinning at an unsustainable pace with respect to consumption of resources, information and energy.  We’ve been largely distracted from the most important elements of our human existence.  Maybe, just maybe we will come out of this thing just a little bit more mindful, more kind, more generous and more grateful than before.  And maybe, just maybe we will stop wrapping everything in single use, non recyclable plastic.  (ha.)

    Who are you and where do you live?

    My name is Rebecca Nash. I am a Physical Therapist. I have my own practice in Woodstock, and I live in Hartland.

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

    I started my practice in 2013. I offer a unique set of services as a physical therapist. My primary treatment is hour-long, manual therapy sessions to help people with both acute and chronic issues.

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

    I am a medical professional, so I am deemed an “essential service” at this time. I have decided, however, to close my doors unless it is for a patient who is in crisis. Most of my clients see me for maintenance and injury prevention and have chosen to stay home at this time.

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

    I suppose the most important thing is that people keep in touch and return to see me once this crisis is over. I also hope that people will spread the word about my services to others who may benefit from them. I do plan to offer gift cards and discounted packages for my services for the future. A website, on-line scheduling and a new list of services will come out soon. In the meantime, anyone can contact me if they are interested: drrebeccanash@gmail.com

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

    This is a big question, but as it relates to my practice, I hope that we will do a better job avoiding the need for such long-lasting social distancing in the future, if and when we are faced with such a crisis again. I hope that the kindness, generosity and hope that has developed during this time will persist into post-quarantine life and that we will be more aware of how much we love and need each other. And finally, I hope you will all return! I look so forward to seeing you all and the privilege of serving this community again!

    We will all look forward to a time that we can gather together to enjoy music and see our favorite healers without worry.  Until then, friends, let's continue to support one another!