The majority of people start their day with a cup of coffee and for a lot of bikers out there (myself included) a good cup of java gives your motorcycle adventure the tasty jolt it needs on an early morning ride. Here at the Retreat we’ve always taken pride in serving our guests what we believe is the best European style fair trade, certified organic coffee produced in Aspen, N.S. from 522 Gourmet Coffee
Well I found out yesterday, to my absolute horror that it seems they have gone out of business for reasons that have not been publicly verified as of yet. Although it seems 522 Gourmet Coffee has shut its doors due to personal reasons and not for a lack of demand. It took us a lot of taste testing to find the right company to supply our humble little motorcycle bed and breakfast with a good bean. The bean had to be ethically harvested and processed, certified organic and we wanted to support local business. Unlike the big coffee franchises that many of us bikers frequent for a lack of anything better on the road, it also had to be DELICIOUS, of which it was hands down. Even Patrick, who never drinks coffee without a vat of cream and a truck load of sugar would have his medium roast Berlin black with just a wee bit of cane sugar.
I was a big fan of the medium roast Vienna & Brussels light roast but on some days only a dark roast Paris would do. How I will miss having a little bit of Paris at home…
I am at a loss as to what coffee beans our Retreat will use to fill in the most important part of the light continental breakfast we offer, because for me nothing sucks more than bad coffee first thing in the morning. We even went as far as clearing out any sellers in the area of their stock but it won’t last the summer… both Patrick and I are daily java heads and although we only have one a day it has to be the best.
The silver lining in the loss of a great bean is that we have yet another reason to road trip across Nova Scotia. Away we’ll go on our bikes to find the perfect coffee bean or maybe we’ll bring out the big gun, the renegade GoldWing, that way we can fill the luggage compartments with our findings… the GoldWing thing still cracks me up. Wait until you see the finished product, we’ve been adding a little Mad Max to the Aspencade!
Happy Riding everyone!
The sign on Yankee Line – You have arrived!
Big Spruce Brewing opens!
If you like beer, you are in for a treat when you visit Cape Breton. Just down the road from the Retreat, Jeremy White has opened up Big Spruce Brewing. Currently Jeremy is looking at Thursday evening openings for selling Growlers in the future and he will be adding another day. Jeremy opened up to the public for the first time yesterday (Sunday) and had Kitchen Party Pale Ale Growler’s on sale. As we were anticipating his open, we had to give it a try! The beer was great and its just down the road from the Retreat so that’s a plus for us and of course, OUR GUESTS!
Big Spruce Brewing Growler
Kitchen Pale Ale from Big Spruce Brewing
Jeremy will also be releasing Cereal Killer (Oatmeal Stout) later this week. We did get to sample it and it tasted great but it was not ready for sale. If you are in the area, on Saturday April 6 from 4pm – 8pm (and beyond), Big Spruce Brewing will be having a launch party at the Baddeck Yacht Club. There will be samples, food and entertainment!
If you would like more information on Big Spruce Brewing, check out their Facebook page.
Check out the Retreat on Facebook!
Nowrūz is the name of the Iranian/Persian New Year, a cultural celebration bringing in the New Year on this first day of Spring. Spring is a time of new beginnings, new life and saying good-bye to our long winter’s sleep. Although today in Cape Breton… you would think it was the reverse!
With Spring comes the promise of new opportunities. With that promise comes the song of distant revving motorcycle engines across the land. Tucked away in their winters lair life begins with a clank, a cough and then with great anticipation a steady hum. Rhythmically in tune with bikers everywhere that hum is the sound of our 2 wheel companions and vehicles of freedom taking in its first breath of promised riding adventure and excitement.
That being said here at the Retreat we have much to be excited about this year. Patrick (much to my dismay at the time) sold his rare stock pink Yamaha YZF 750 last fall and replaced it with a Gold Wing?! Anyone who knows us at all knows first and foremost we are and always shall be sport bike riders. So when Patty said he was going “Gold Wing” I immediately felt his head for fever and blurted out in a panic “We’re not retired yet!” Now before GW riders everywhere flash us their long dirty looks lets face the facts, full sized touring bikes all over the world are known for 2 things; comfort and economy. It has been my personal experience that both of those things are synonymous with… retirement. And what’s wrong with that? Absolutely nothing! In fact I look forward to early retirement if it means riding more often for longer periods of time. Patrick’s reasoning behind his latest motorcycle purchase convinced me in 3 seconds why a Gold Wing was a perfect addition to our family and why I walked away smiling.
Running a business for bikers leaves us very little time to ride ourselves especially during the summer. We came to the conclusion that as much as we love our sport bikes the style of riding we want to do in the future requires a touring machine! It will help with giving guided tours around Cape Breton and the Cabot Trail to wanting guests and riders (see main page for more details) and it will allow for more time to ride on the shoulder seasons. The best part is we can bring way more luggage, have fewer fuel stops along the way and not to mention better mileage… did I mention comfort?
There are many fine machines out there that offer the same (if not better) riding comfort and economy as an older Gold Wing, but when you have a husband that can’t pass up a “great deal” and loves to tinker for hours and hours… and hours just to bring new life and new opportunity to an old hibernating bike, how can you blame him for such a noble cause. This doesn’t mean I’m selling my sport bike. I’ll never do that!
On another note just down the road from us in Nyanza (and less than 5km from our Motorcycle Retreat) a start up brewing business Big Spruce Brewing is opening its doors this spring. We are pleased to see others like ourselves taking a chance on a great opportunity to do business in Cape Breton. We hope they do well and wish them much success because at the end of a long, beautiful ride around the island a nice cold beer goes down really well! We will be taste testing their brew on April 6th at the Bras D’Or Yacht Club and we’ll happily keep you posted of our experience. Click on the link below for more info:
Cape Breton Post – Big Spruce Brewing
Happy tune ups!