The Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia has all the ingredients for entrepreneurs looking to produce or add value to a wide range of agricultural products.
Located on the Bay of Fundy and bordered by two mountain ranges, the foothills of the Annapolis Valley are the heart of the province’s wine country. Our wine-making climate has been compared with the Champagne region in France.
The region is also home to a growing cluster of craft-beverage makers, artisan food producers, and other agricultural entrepreneurs. Together, they are adding value to our quality local ingredients, expanding the buy-local movement, and cultivating the region’s international reputation as a culinary tourism destination.
This richness of opportunities has attracted a growing number of food and beverage entrepreneurs who have opened businesses in and around the Village of Port Williams, an historic river port on the tidal waters of the Cornwallis River in Kings County. These business are collaborating on a joint marketing campaign to promote Starr’s Point Loop as a unique tourism attraction.
The businesses you will encounter on the loop – according to the marketing brochure and related website – include a winery, a cheese maker, a restaurant and retail business selling fresh pasta and sauces, an inn, a pub, several craft breweries and a distillery. There are also farms selling produce and raising grass-fed Angus beef, a store selling clothing, jewelry and housewares, U-pick fruit businesses, a museum, and an antique store.
Colleen Murphy is the co-owner of Barrelling Tide Distillery, which produces fruit liqueurs and spirits. Apart from the wealth of fruit crops in the region and access to grain, Colleen said discovering a strong, local business community was a great asset for the young enterprise she founded with her husband, Russell. Existing craft beverage makers in the area all pitched in to help the newcomers establish their waterfront business. As well as collaborating on their marketing, these businesses are also directing customers to one another. “That’s the great thing about this area and this industry,” Colleen said. “Everybody supports each other.”