Debbie spent a lot of years in the film and tv business in Toronto. She had always dreamed of being in the country, having a farm and being surrounded by animals. Shain was a literary agent representing some of the best talent in the country. He never liked animals, dirt or being in the country. For some reason in 2007, he asked Debbie if she’d like to find a place in the country. She jumped at the idea before he had a chance to realize what he’d said – and 3 weeks later they had their first farm in Campbellford Ontario. A beautiful 25 acre farm in a quiet little town. They had to go back to the city for half the week to pay for their crazy acquisition, but in 2009 – Shain, who is much older than Debbie, said he actually had grown to like being on the farm and wanted to retire and live there full time. At first Debbie was sad that she wouldn’t see him as much – she still had to spend half the week in Toronto working. But then she realized that if Shain were on the farm all the time, she could have animals! She raised that idea with Shain, who figured she meant another dog or a couple of cats. But of course, she wanted goats. Doesn’t everyone want goats?? He took a deep breath and said ‘ok’ and the rest is truly history…..Debbie brought home their first 4 Nigerian Dwarf goats (two of whom are still around) and Shain promptly fell in love. Debbie was truly in her element. When friends and family heard the couple had goats, they asked if they could come meet them. Of course, they said. And those friends and family also promptly fell in love. So they brought their friends and family and then those people brought more friends and family – until nearly every weekend 30 or 40 people would show up to the farm to meet and play with the goats. It soon became clear, that lots of other people felt like Debbie and Shain did. They wanted to be in nature, feel the breath of the goats, hear the quiet and just be connected. And so Haute Goat was born.
They’d have stayed in Campbellford forever, but Debbie wanted to be closer to their kids and grandkids so they looked for a place closer to Toronto. As they were getting older (especially Shain), they thought they should downsize. They literally stumbled on the place that is now home to Haute Goat. And their ‘downsizing’ was to a stunning 200 acre farm just an hour east of Toronto. It was daunting at first, to consider what they could do with 200 acres, but pretty quickly it became clear that this would give visitors an even richer experience than before. Trails are open to walk and they love when people share and enjoy the farm.
Debbie has always been passionate about animals and nature. Having this wonderful farm and enabling others to enjoy it is truly a dream come true. She loves to share her joy with others and when someone connects with an animal and leaves with a smile in their heart and a story to tell, it makes it totally worthwhile. As she often says “This is where I’m supposed to be”.