Photos by Lisa Enman Photography
A few years back, while visiting their friends who had just moved to PEI, husband and wife Lisa and Paul Reid felt the pull to move to the Island as well.
Lisa and Paul had spent most of their lives living and working in Ontario, and they were looking for a lifestyle change. Their friends had just bought a cottage business in the Malpeque area, so when the couple got back to Ontario, they started to look online and see if they could find a similar property somewhere close.
Lisa spent time searching the web for listings but was not seeing what they were looking for, and then before giving up, she found one that felt right, on Kijiji no less. The couple flew to PEI and spent a few hours touring around the 16-acre property. After only one viewing, they knew this was the perfect place for them. They went back to Ontario, packed up their belongings, and headed for the Island and their new community of Alberton.
After arriving on PEI, one of their first stops was at the Rural Action Centre, located about 10 minutes away from their new home and business, Briarwood Coastal Cottages & Lodge.
“We were trying to acclimatize ourselves to the area and find information on what services were available for our new business, which we found more than helpful,” Lisa says.
Lisa and Paul met with Barb MacDonald, Client Information Officer with Rural Action Centre Alberton. Barb was able to chat with the couple about what services they could access for their new venture.
Barb directed them to become familiar with the West Prince Chamber of Commerce and the North Cape Coastal Drive; Lisa and Paul are now proud members of both associations.
Lisa also signed up for several workshops hosted by the Rural Action Centre to learn new business skills. When asked if she would recommend visiting a RAC in your area, Lisa doesn’t hesitate to answer.
“Absolutely, great support and information, networking,” Lisa says. “They are a wealth of knowledge.”
Lisa loves everything about running a hospitality business, despite it being quite busy. Even though she tries hard to anticipate what’s to come, there is no guarantee that everything will go as planned.
“Everyday I make a plan, throw it out, make another plan, deal with priorities,” she says. “In the run of a day, I’m doing bookkeeping, reservations, cleaning schedule, renovations, social media.”
To Lisa and Paul, it’s all worth it in the end.
“It’s making a difference in someone’s life. We have become close with a few of our long-term guests,” she says. “We continue to work hard to provide a home away from home for our guests.”