The owners of a business on the Port au Port Peninsula feel their decision to close the enterprise is going to be a big blow for tourism in that area.
Cathy Whitehead and Ed Hutchings, a couple who are in their second career after both retiring from the RCMP, ran Alpacas of Newfoundland, a farm and gift store that specialized in Alpaca made products and stained glass for the past 20 years.
During the summer months the business has been a mainstay for visitors who dropped by to see and feed these docile animals and drop into the craft store to purchase the knitted goods or even maybe grab an ice cream cone.
During the fall there were often school students who dropped in to visit the alpacas and even senior citizens from the Long Term Care Centre in Stephenville Crossing who went there to get away from their regular environment.
The couple certainly cannot be faulted for their decision to shut down the business as they’ve been trying to sell it since 2014 as a package deal including the home, craft store, barn and animals.
While there was some interest, in the end people didn’t want to take on the animal part of the enterprise.
The couple felt the 20th anniversary of the business would be a good time to call it quits and have recently been selling off their animals.
The last day of operation for the farm is Sept. 30.
When you get young adults dropping in with their children and talk about how they enjoyed visiting the alpacas when they were kids, you kind of know that maybe it’s time to give it up.
Getting out at an age when you’re still able to do things like travel, as Whitehead and Hutchings are, is a smart move. Sometimes people stay too long at something and it’s too late when the final decision is made.
Yes, they are correct that it will be a big blow to tourism on the peninsula as Alpacas of Newfoundland was a must-go spot for many tourists throughout the past two decades.
Sadly some good things come to an end and an area can suffer for it when it comes to tourism; however, this couple did their due diligence and tried for years to sell the business intact.
In the final summation, the interest in purchasing a farm was there but taking care of animals wasn’t, so another great enterprise is gone.
It will leave a real void in tourism and yet another attraction for young people to seniors gone.