Faces of the Valley: Sue & Kerry
by: Stephanie Park
Nestled comfortably within the beauty of Kimberly is a bed and breakfast owned by Sue Barbour and Kerry Baskey. They have been living in the area for a total of ten years, although they initially discovered it in the late 70's when visiting with friends.
The couple bought their house in June of 2003 and had their first customer in November of the same year. They originally moved up the area with the intention of Kerry working with the winenot offices , however as they began working on the house they made the decision to open their doors as a business. Ten years down the road ,and they now have a fully functioning B&B with five rooms for guests each with it's own on suite.
Kerry is retired and spends his time running the B&B, while Sue works in Toronto three times a week at the North American firm Raymond James. Before retirement Kerry worked in both the architecture and hospitality business, and still occasionally does some drawings to help out local builders. Their average weekend running the B&B starts with weary guests checking in late on Friday night, and both Sue and Kerry then rise early the next morning to make breakfast for their visitors. Running the business out of their home they try to form a bond with each of their guests, and have a variety of regulars who return each year. Kerry stated that very often "our guests become [our] friends" especially when they are returning year after year. This secluded little B&B has roomed guests from as far away as Holland and as close as Toronto.
When they are not busy running their business Sue and Kerry enjoy a full and eventful lifestyle. Their interests lie mainly in cooking, travel, and photography. Kerry and Sue also maintain an immaculate and vivacious garden on their property. The couple also takes part in the very vibrant social scene that exists in Kimberly and they often find their schedule full of dinner parties, and community events. Both Sue and Kerry are an active part of the Kimberly cooking club, in addition to that Kerry is also a member on the Kimberly hall board. Their favourite restaurants in the area include Munshaw's Bistro, Simplicity Bistro, and Sisi's although they are just as likely to be found cooking up food for friends right out of their own kitchen.
Both Kerry and Sue love the area because it represents not only solitude and relaxation, but is also home to their large network of friends. Kerry described the area as "the better alternative…[and compared it to] country living without the isolation". One of the highlights of the area for both Sue and Kerry is the social aspect. They describe their experience as being more personal than when they lived in the city and have made deep personal connections with their neighbours close and far. In the well chosen words of Sue "There are people you can fall back on up here…everyone chips in". Another one of the attractions that the couple outlined was the beauty of the area, Kerry eloquently described the magnificence of the sun as it rises over old baldie, and talked about how they liked to sit on the porch and watch it light up the morning sky. Sue outlined her love for the area by stating that for her "it offers everything that you can get in the city" without the daily hustle and bustle. The couple has built themselves the perfect little utopia right in their own backyard. Just a stones throw away from their friendly neighbours and a carefree plane ride from everywhere else in the world.