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*