PKED caught up with Rolling Grape Vineyard in Bailieboro, Ontario to talk about how they are using the Tourism Resiliency Fund to help their business through recovery from the COVID-19 global pandemic.
1. Where did the idea/concept for your business come from?
I used to travel to Prince Edward County to do wine tours and see all the countryside. I always wondered why we never had anything like this in our area. After working with a close friend who was opening a winery in PEC I decided to take this small family vineyard to the home farm and trial some vines. After a year of survival, I started planting a little each year until I had enough crop to open a business.
2. What has it been like navigating the pandemic with your business?
This has been tough as we are more destination tourism than simply wine production. We rely heavily on cottage country and tourism. We have been very lucky to live in a community that supports local and we have been able to sell through our inventory quicker than expected.
3. What will you be using the TRF funding towards?
We are using the funds to expand and update our patio to accommodate more people at greater distance and better facility. We are lucky to have lots of space here at the farm.
4. What are your hopes for the business in the next few years?
Hopefully we can return to allowing people back to the farm and onto the property to experience an afternoon, evening or event in the country enjoying some wine, food maybe live music.
5. What is it like owning a business in Peterborough & the Kawarthas?
The community is very supportive of local business which really provides a core for us to build on. If it wasn’t for the local community and their enthusiasm and support we would not be here.
6. What makes your business unique to our region?
There are few on-farm experiences available in the area like ours. We are hoping to expand that experience to allow more people to respectfully take advantage of the space we are lucky to have and educate on some of the experiences of farming.
7. What is your favourite thing about living and working in Peterborough & the Kawarthas?
Again the people and beauty of the area. We have a great community with lots to offer. Hopefully we do not lose too many cornerstone businesses during these shutdowns as they are pillars in the community and for tourism.
PKED is profiling several tourism-dependent businesses that were successful in receiving Tourism Resiliency Funding to support costs associated with adapting to public health measures and safety reopening, which will support the tourism industry’s recovery in Peterborough & the Kawarthas.