How Did You Come Up With The Business Name Haute Goat?
We were looking for a name that felt like it meant premium but with a sense of fun. People remember it.
What Made You Decide to Turn Your Farm into A Business?
We bought a farm in 2007 and I always wanted animals. My husband retired and decided to stay at the farm full time and I realized I could now have animals. He thought maybe a dog or cat but I meant goats.
When we told family and friends we had goats they would say “oh we have to come and see the goats”. That is how it started. Then they would bring their friends and more friends came. We started doing informal tours and it snowballed from there. It took off when we moved to our current location which is a 200- acre farm located just outside historic Port Hope, Ontario
Were You Able to Use Your Experience of Running a Production Company in Toronto into Starting a Farm Business?
Totally! When I was doing the film business and TV business as a producer what you are doing is bringing a bunch of stuff together. That is what this has become. We work with a lot of other partners who do things with us. We have someone who makes soap, we have people who teach workshops – we work with them as partners. It makes me happy when they say their business is growing because our business is growing.
What Series Of Experiences Do You Offer At The Farm?
The first experience we offered was The Haute Goat Shmurgle. People walk through the fields with the goats then end up in the playground with the goats and hang out with them. This has been a huge hit.
Next, we offer walking with the Alpaca. You walk them on a lead line. You will learn how to halter, groom, interact and lead your Alpaca. It’s crazy and fun.
We offer something called Horse Connection. We have a woman who facilitates this. Spending time with the horses, getting to understand them and yourself.
We do a series of workshops. I run the workshop – Milk A Goat, Make Cheese. You learn how to milk a goat then go and learn how to make mozzarella cheese.
The woman who makes our soap runs a soap-making workshop twice a year. This is very popular.
Three years ago we were asked to run Goat Yoga. When we ran the first one, people were so happy they just giggled and laughed through the whole session. The yoga teacher, I’m not a yoga person, said to me that this is the essence of yoga in finding joy, I thought wow and if that’s the case I feel differently about yoga now. We now have three different yoga teachers. They have all come to know our goats so it has become much deeper than yoga with goats. You are learning something about the goats, interacting with goats while doing yoga as well.
What Do You Attribute To The Success Of Haute Goat?
How the farm makes people feel.
They feel good interacting with animals. The animals are so friendly they are genuinely interested in the people. The animals are magic.
Yesterday we took a couple of the Alpaca’s to senior nursing homes in Oshawa and Bowmanville (due to corona-19 did not go inside) and the Alpaca’s went right up to the windows – that’s our animals they love to socialize. That’s a huge part of it of course.
When people come here, the moment they arrive they sigh. Especially now that we have the cafe, they spend a couple of hours here. They come, hang out, they go off on the trails. There are gigantic games outside they can play. It’s playful and fun here. We want people to take a deep breath and enjoy it.
How Do You Market Your Business?
Social Media. We have a really engaged group of fans especially on Facebook and Instagram.
During These Unprecedented Times Due To Coronavirus What Are You Doing To Keep The Business Operational?
The truth is our income has dropped by +-90%, we just did and there is nothing we can do about that. Having said that, people are doing some online ordering which is great as they are sending care packages to families and friends. We are also doing goodwill stuff like going to the senior’s homes with the Alpacas. Every other day we do a Facebook Live something about the farm, the animals and different experiences. Trying to keep in touch so when we open people will say we have to go and see Pearl, our 12-year-old goat that is part of our Facebook live sessions and our other animals.
What Advice Would You Give Someone Looking To Get Into A Similar Business?
Follow your heart. Do what you love, which I know is very simplistic but is so true. I genuinely love what I do, so if you can do that, you are so blessed.
Want your business featured? Get in touch on our contact page!